- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 18, 2005

SANTA MARIA, Calif. (AP) — A 12-year-old cousin of Michael Jackson testified yesterday that he saw the pop star’s young accuser steal wine and money and secretly watch pornography on television while masturbating.

Testifying in the singer’s child molestation trial, Rijo Jackson said the accuser’s brother — another key prosecution witness — also took part in the misbehavior during visits to Mr. Jackson’s Neverland ranch.

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

The witness said he declined and instead went to Mr. Jackson’s room and told him what the boys were watching on television.

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

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

?Did you do that often?? Mr. Zonen asked.

?Yes,? Rijo said.

Mr. Jackson, 46, is accused of molesting a 13-year-old boy in February or March 2003 and plying the boy with wine. He also is 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.?

Judge Rodney S. Melville ruled in April that the defense could explore whether the brothers were seen misbehaving sexually at Neverland without Mr. Jackson present.

Rijo 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.

Rijo said the wine incident occurred when an employee brought a bottle to the downstairs area of Mr. Jackson’s bedroom suite while the singer was in the bathroom. He said the boys took the bottle upstairs and the next time he saw it the cork had been 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.

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