Prosecutors in the sexual molesting trial of Michael Jackson on Friday painted a picture of him riffling through dirty magazines and showing the pictures to two young boys.
The prosecution repeatedly projected onto a large screen images of sexually explicit periodicals like Hustler’s Barely Legal Hardcore and had fingerprint experts identify on their glossy pages prints left not only by Mr. Jackson but also by his accuser, now 15, and the accuser’s younger brother.
The evidence supported the boys’ testimony that Mr. Jackson not only owned a considerable collection of pornography but also shared it with children.
At least one magazine had three fingerprints from Mr. Jackson’s accuser and one from Mr. Jackson. Defense lawyers, who have acknowledged Mr. Jackson’s penchant for pornography, insisted that the accuser had left his mark on the magazine last year when he testified before a grand jury in Santa Barbara.
Defense lawyers had also contended that the boys looked through the magazines on their own, while Mr. Jackson was gone. They elicited from one of the experts an admission that there was no way to tell precisely when a print might have been left on a magazine, suggesting that Mr. Jackson might have looked at the periodicals before or after the boys’ stay at his Neverland ranch in the Santa Ynez Valley, just south of here.
It took almost two whole days in court to get to the point where the experts revealed their identification of the 19 prints, most of which belonged to Mr. Jackson.
Before that, the jury and the almost-packed courtroom sat through long recitations of procedure for handling and examining fingerprints in an effort to establish the experts’ credibility.
At one point, an alternate juror was seen nodding off. At another particularly tedious juncture, Mr. Jackson’s mother, Katherine, who has been consistent in her attendance at the trial, also closed her eyes for a time as her head dipped forward.
After a month of trial, the weariness struck even Judge Rodney S. Melville. “I can’t take any more,” the notoriously disciplined Judge Melville said as he ended the day’s session 15 minutes early.