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The Michael Jackson Trial

Jackson visits hospital again

Jury to resume deliberations Monday in molestation case


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SANTA MARIA, California (CNN) -- Michael Jackson visited a hospital for about two hours Sunday afternoon for treatment of a recurring back problem and returned to his nearby Neverland Ranch, his spokeswoman said.

A Santa Barbara County jury is scheduled to resume deliberations Monday on Jackson's fate in his trial on child molestation charges.

Jackson spokeswoman Raymone Bain blamed the stress of the trial for the recurrence of his back problem.

"He's good. He's OK," she said. "He's under stress, and this is a difficult time."

Jackson has complained of back problems before, and it was the second time in four days he visited a hospital. (Full story)

On March 10, Santa Barbara County Superior Court Judge Rodney Melville threatened to revoke the singer's $3 million bail when Jackson showed up 90 minutes late for court after seeking treatment at a local hospital.

His back continued to bother him during the trial, and he used a cushion and took medication "off and on," Bain said.

She said his back bothered him throughout the past week, when jurors heard closing arguments and Melville's instructions.

The eight women and four men of the jury got the case Friday afternoon and deliberated about two hours before breaking for the weekend.

They will have to wade through 14 weeks of testimony by more than 130 witnesses to determine whether the pop star is a sexual predator of young boys or a victim of a con.

Jermaine Jackson said in an off-camera CNN interview over the weekend that his brother is "one thousand percent innocent."

Asked how his parents, Joseph and Katherine Jackson, have handled the courtroom drama, Jermaine said, "They are our rock."

Katherine Jackson attended every day of the trial, and all eight of Jackson's siblings showed the family flag at some point.

Jermaine Jackson was asked whether his brother would change his ways if he is found not guilty.

"He'll become a complete recluse if found not guilty. He won't be able to deal with anyone because he can't trust anyone," he said, referring to the fact that a number of former Jackson employees and confidants testified against him.

Tito Jackson, another of the pop star's siblings, disputed courtroom descriptions of Jackson's bedroom -- where the alleged molestation took place -- as an intimate setting.

"His room is a huge suite with an arcade," the brother said.

Jackson, accompanied by his parents and five of his siblings, exited the courthouse Friday under an umbrella held by a bodyguard to shield him from the sun. He will await the verdict at his Neverland Ranch, about an hour from Santa Maria.

Showing their support Friday were two of his sisters, Janet and Rebe, who had not been at the trial since testimony began February 28.

Another sister, LaToya, and brothers Jermaine and Randy were on hand, as were his parents.

A grand jury indicted Jackson in April last year on charges of child molestation and other crimes stemming from alleged incidents involving his accuser, then 13, and his family in February and March 2003.

Jackson pleaded not guilty to the charges and did not take the stand during the trial.

During closing arguments Friday, Jackson's lead defense attorney attacked the credibility of the teenage accuser and his family, saying their allegations against the pop star are "the biggest con of their careers."

Projecting transcript excerpts of their testimony onto a large screen, Thomas Mesereau Jr. pointed to "flip flops" in the accuser's various statements to show that "he's not truthful."

And he called the teen's mother "a complete liar and fabricator, a con artist," saying the family wanted to cash in on allegations with a civil suit, as they did four years ago with a lawsuit against J.C. Penney.

Prosecutor Ron Zonen, in his final rebuttal, said the consistency of the family's testimony was "remarkable," given they were on the stand for a collective 12 days.

He also lampooned the idea that the mother, who "frankly can't string two consecutive sentences together that make sense," would be able to mastermind "such a vast fraud." (Closing arguments)

The charges Jackson faces include: four counts of committing a lewd act on a child; one count of conspiracy to commit child abduction, false imprisonment and extortion; one count of attempting to commit a lewd act on a child; and four counts of administering an intoxicating agent to assist in the commission of a felony.

Earlier this week, Melville decided to allow the jury to consider the lesser included charge of furnishing alcohol to a minor, a misdemeanor, on the final four charges.

Prosecutors allege that after a controversial documentary was broadcast, Jackson and five associates plotted to control and intimidate the accuser's family to get them to go along with damage-control efforts, including holding them against their will at Neverland.

Jackson's lawyers have tried to paint his accuser's family as grifters with a habit of wheedling money out of the rich and famous.

CNN's Dree De Clamecy, Ted Rowlands, Stan Wilson and Adam Reiss contributed to this report.


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