Jackson cousin testifies accuser engaged in sexual activity

Michael Jackson's accuser and his brother were depicted by a witness Wednesday as bad boys who stole wine, pilfered money from employees at the pop star's Neverland ranch and secretly watched pornographic TV shows while they fondled themselves.

A Jackson cousin, Rijo Jackson, 12, testified in the pop star's child molestation trial about seeing the boys misbehaving during visits to the singer's Neverland ranch.

The soft-spoken Rijo said that in 2003 he was with the brothers in a guest unit when they turned the TV to a channel showing naked women, began masturbating and suggested he do the same.

The witness said he declined and instead went to Michael Jackson's room and told him what the boys were watching on TV.

"He didn't believe it," Rijo said.

Under cross-examination by prosecutor Ron Zonen, the youth said he was scared to tell Michael Jackson about the masturbation.

He said he spent the night in bed with his cousin.

"Did you do that often?" asked Zonen.

"Yes," said Rijo.

Jackson, 46, is accused of molesting a 13-year-old boy in February or March 2003 and plying the boy with wine. He is also charged with conspiring to hold the boy's family captive to get them to appear in a video to rebut the damaging documentary "Living With Michael Jackson."

The program focused attention on Jackson's relationship with the boy. The youngster appeared in the program with Jackson, who said he let children sleep in his bed but it was non-sexual.

Rijo also testified that he saw the boys steal wine, go through drawers in the house and take money that belonged to a chef and to another employee.

According to Rijo, the wine incident occurred when an employee brought a bottle to the downstairs area of Jackson's bedroom suite while the singer was in the bathroom. He said the boys took it upstairs and the next time he saw it the cork was removed and some of the wine was gone.

Rijo's 16-year-old sister, Simone, testified earlier that she also saw the boys steal wine.

In brief testimony, Simone and Rijo's grandmother, Michelle Jackson, spoke of meeting the accuser and his siblings at Neverland and being told they were waiting to go on a trip.

She said the accuser told her, "We don't want to go to Brazil. That's my mother wants to go. We want to stay here."

The prosecution claims Jackson's associates at one point wanted to send the family on a one-way trip to Brazil to get them out of the spotlight after the documentary aired. A witness testified earlier that she arranged such a trip but canceled it after being informed that plans had changed.

The defense also called Christian Robinson, who participated in interviews of the accuser's family and Michael Jackson's former wife Deborah Rowe for the so-called rebuttal video.

The accuser's mother claims her family's interview was completely scripted, but Robinson said there were no scripts. He said he did write questions for Rowe's interview but that her answers and those of the family were spontaneous.

"Was there anything that you saw that indicated she was unwilling to do the interview?" defense attorney Robert Sanger asked about the accuser's mother.

"She was adamant about wanting to do the interview," Robinson said, but he noted that she was hesitant to sign a release form that would allow the video to be aired.

LINDA DEUTSCH, AP Special Correspondent

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