While jurors in the child molestation case against Michael Jackson have the day off today (May 31), attorneys face a crucial task: Figuring out what instructions panelists should receive before beginn

While jurors in the child molestation case against Michael Jackson have the day off today (May 31), attorneys face a crucial task: Figuring out what instructions panelists should receive before beginning deliberations.

Both sides rested their cases Friday after prosecutors played jurors a tape of the first law enforcement interview with the singer's accuser. Defense attorneys had said they might call the boy, his mother and others back to the stand to question them about the tape, but made the surprise decision to rest instead.

Closing arguments in the case could begin as early as tomorrow, and jurors could get the case before the week is out.

The defense has tried since the beginning of the case to portray the boy and his family as dishonest gold-diggers.

Because jurors will not be present for the arguments today, they will have four days to think about the videotape -- a final, dramatic finish for the prosecution as they try to get the panel to sympathize with the boy.

On the tape, the boy slumped in his chair and described the alleged molestation in a low, halting voice. He also asked investigators not to tell his mother what he had told them.

Prosecutors were expected to argue that the request undercuts the defense's claim that the mother prompted her son to lie as part of a scheme to get Jackson's money.

Jackson, 46, is charged with molesting the then-13-year-old boy in February or March 2003, giving him wine and conspiring to hold his family captive to get them to rebut a documentary in which Jackson said he let children sleep his bed but it was non-sexual.

Jackson's attorneys were expected to ask Judge Rodney S. Melville for standard jury instructions, saying the panel may reject the entire testimony of a witness they think has lied about a key point.


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