The prosecution in the Jackson case rested Wednesday, and the defense case is off to a start. But the most crucial issue in the case might be the timeline, which I think is a big problem for prosecutors.
February 3, 2003: It starts when that damning documentary aired in England. The accuser and Jackson talk about sleeping next to the each other on the bed. The actual accuser in this case on that video. There are no allegations that Jackson had abused the boy yet, but prosecutors say the fallout and negative publicity from that video prompted Jackson to abduct, imprison, and extort the family and the accuser in order to have them say nice things about Jackson on tape.
February 6, 2003: The documentary airs in the U.S.. Prosecutors say in the days following the airing, Jackson's associates coerced the accuser's mother into doing a rebuttal video praising Jackson. They claim that they told her it's the only way to insure her family's safety.
February 16:, 2003: Defense investigator Bradley Miller then interviewed the family. The mother says Michael is wonderful, kind, unselfish. And what about the abuse? She says nothing improper ever happened, nothing out of the ordinary, nothing sexual.
February 19, 2003: The family again praised Jackson in the rebuttal video filmed by Jackson's associate. The mother said “We were destitute, had nowhere to turn. Michael Jackson rescued us.” Now prosecutors say it was all scripted, an allegation the defense denies.
February 20, 2003: The family tells the Department of Children and Family Services that Jackson had done nothing inappropriate. Again, the mother says after the fact that she was coerced into saying nice things. But even prosecutors aren't alleging any molestation had occurred yet. They say it starts after that video has already been made. The indictment alleges the lewd acts all happened after the rebuttal video between February 20 and March the 12th.
The defense is expected to try and narrow that timeline significantly to question how it could have happened in that period. I think, just as a matter of common sense, that this timeline is the hardest thing for prosecutors. These jurors may go back there and they may say, “Wait a second. So he is forcing the family to make a rebuttal video and say nice things even though there hadn't been any abuse at that time? Maybe they would have said nice things anyway.”
The timeline shows that the prosecution's case is that because of the panic over negative publicity, they forced this family to say that “no molestation had occurred” when it hadn't occurred, and then Michael Jackson gets over his panic just long enough to molest the child when the entire world is watching.
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