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Jackson Prosecutors May Wrap Up Evidence

Prosecutors in Michael Jackson's trial could finish presenting evidence about accusations that the singer molested a 15-year-old as early as this week, though they're waiting to see if evidence of all

Prosecutors in Michael Jackson's Santa Maria, Calif., trial could finish presenting evidence about accusations that the singer molested a 15-year-old as early as this week, though they are waiting to see if evidence of alleged prior offenses also can be included.

District Attorney Tom Sneddon said in a hearing last week that prosecutors may finish presenting evidence about the current molestation claims by Friday (March 25).

Still expected to testify about the alleged molestation include investigators who searched Jackson's Neverland Valley Ranch on Nov. 18, 2003, and Stan Katz, a psychologist who interviewed the boy and his brother about the alleged molestation.

What comes after the testimony will depend on how Judge Rodney S. Melville rules in a hearing next Monday on the prosecution's request that they be allowed to present evidence of alleged past molestations by Jackson. If the judge agrees to admit the evidence, they may begin presenting witnesses about Jackson's past immediately after the ruling.

Jackson has never been criminally charged with a past offense, but prosecutors want to present witnesses to show that the current case is part of a pattern. They also want to tell jurors about an accusation against Jackson by another boy in 1993 that resulted in a multi-million dollar civil settlement.

After presenting evidence on the molestation, prosecutors will focus on the next stage of their case: the allegation that Jackson held the boy's family captive to get them to help him rebut a damaging documentary in which he acknowledged sharing his bed with children. Jackson said the sleepovers were innocent and non-sexual.

When testimony left off last Thursday, prosecutors were presenting dozens of books and adult magazines seized from Neverland that they allege Jackson may have used to lure his accuser into being molested.

The boy and his brother said they saw several adult magazines when they were in Jackson's bedroom. In one instance, they said they found the publications while poking through Jackson's belongings.

Sneddon said in opening statements that one magazine found at Neverland had fingerprints from Jackson and his accuser, but the defense argues that could be because Jackson once caught the boys looking at his magazines.

The defense says the boy also may have touched the magazine during his testimony before the grand jury. The prosecution denied that in Friday's hearing, but acknowledged that the magazines were not fingerprinted until after the grand jury proceedings.

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