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Last Updated: Saturday, 22 January, 2005, 10:55 GMT
Abuse expert joins Jackson trial
Michael Jackson
Mr Jackson has denied charges of child molestation and conspiracy
A child abuse expert will testify at singer Michael Jackson's trial, despite protests from the star's lawyers.

Judge Rodney Melville will allow the expert to explain to the jury why the accuser did not report Mr Jackson's alleged offences immediately.

Defence lawyer Tom Mesereau told a pre-trial hearing in California that the accuser had "a history of lying".

Mr Jackson has denied 10 counts of child molestation and conspiracy. His trial is due to begin on 31 January.

'Dispel myths'

The unnamed expert will help "dispel myths" about child abuse and show "why a child might demonstrate affection or even love for the person who does the offence," prosecutor Ronald Zonen said.

But Mr Mesereau said the expert would "bolster the credibility" of the accuser and another witness, regardless of whether they were telling the truth.

Judge Melville said he would allow the expert's testimony but indicated that the expert would not be allowed to discuss issues such as whether Mr Jackson, 46, fitted the profile of a child molester.

The trial is expected to last six months at San Barbara County Superior Court, and will begin with the selection of a 12-strong jury.


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