The star's defense wants to bar any evidence of his alleged prior sexual offenses

By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated January 10, 2005 08:00 AM

Michael Jackson’s lawyers are arguing that any evidence of his alleged prior sexual offenses is circumstantial at best and should be barred once his child-molestation trial begins Jan. 31.

Prosecutors are trying to admit at trial reputed evidence that the 46-year-old star has a “propensity” for sexually abusing young boys, reports Reuters. Court Judge Rodney Melville is expected to decide on that potentially explosive issue possibly this week.

“The District Attorney is alleging at least seven prior offenses, yet only one of the alleged victims is scheduled to testify,” Jackson’s lawyers said in a seven-page motion that seeks to bar certain findings.

Because of a gag order in the case, the evidence in question has not been a matter of public record.

Last week, the Smoking Gun Web site posted a partial list of items it claimed that investigators had seized during the raids on Jackson’s Neverland Ranch. It included evidence that is supposed to corroborate the accuser’s claims, such as pictorial magazines and underwear. (The Smoking Gun says it obtained the information from confidential police and government records, grand jury testimony and sealed court records.)

Jackson faces a 10-count indictment that charges him with lewd acts on a young boy and conspiracy. He has pleaded not guilty.