After a heated hearing on the motion by the prosecution, Judge Melville ruled that testimony about previous sexual offenses and a pattern of "grooming" young boys for molestation would be allowed, but rather than allowing evidence about seven previous Jackson victims, he allowed only five.
The jury will hear directly from a 1990 accuser who received $2.4 million from a Jackson settlement and from the boy's mother. The boy who reached a reported $22 million settlement in 1993 will not testify, Melville ruled, but he did allow testimony from others who had knowledge of the case.
Melville said the jury can be told that the boys reached settlements with Jackson to not file criminal charges, but they cannot be told the amounts of those settlements, unless the defense introduces those details.
A Pattern of Behavior
The long-awaited ruling was based on a California law, passed after Jackson's 1993 payoff to one accuser, that allows past acts to be admitted as evidence in child molestation cases to show a pattern of behavior.
District Attorney Tom Sneddon told the judge Jackson had been seen inappropriately touching four previous victims, all of whom were 10 to 13 years old at the time of the incidents.
The prosecution made the motion to allow the testimony from the previous allegations before the current trial began, but Judge Melville said he would wait until after the state presented its "case in chief" before ruling. Courtroom observers agreed the outcome of the present trial would probably swing toward a guilty verdict if the jury was allowed to hear of the past allegations.
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