- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 31, 2005

SANTA MARIA, Calif. (AP) — The psychologist who was the first to tell authorities about accusations that Michael Jackson molested a 13-year-old boy testified yesterday that it would be “extremely rare” for a child that age to make a false charge.

Stan Katz, one of the prosecution’s key witnesses, was prohibited by Judge Rodney S. Melville from testifying directly about the credibility of Mr. Jackson’s accuser or whether he thinks the molestation occurred.

However, Mr. Katz said children older than 5 rarely fabricate accusations of molestation.

He said accusers who appear to be truthful sometimes change their stories and embellish or exaggerate, while “children who make false allegations are usually consistent, almost scripted.”

Mr. Jackson’s defense has noted inconsistencies in testimony by the accuser.

Under cross-examination, Mr. Katz acknowledged he has done no research on civil lawsuits involving teenagers in abuse cases, but later testified, “I don’t recall any adolescent or preadolescent making claims for profit.”

Mr. Jackson, 46, is accused of molesting the boy in 2003 and plying him with alcohol.

Earlier yesterday, a flight attendant testified that the boy once showed off an expensive watch the singer gave him and boasted that Mr. Jackson would buy him anything.

Cynthia Bell said the conversation took place in 2003 during a Miami-to-California flight with Mr. Jackson and members of the boy’s family.

“He was saying things like, ‘Look at what Michael got me,’ and, ‘These are very expensive watches,’” Miss Bell said. “He did say, ‘Michael bought this watch for me and he’ll buy me anything.’”

Prosecutors say the watch was a bribe to keep the boy from revealing that Mr. Jackson gave him alcohol. The defense says the boy and his family were trying to bilk the singer.

Miss Bell also testified that she served Mr. Jackson wine in a Diet Coke can but did not see the boy drink from it, as the prosecution says happened.

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