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Jackson's accuser in court!

The mother of a boy whose accusations of molestation against Michael Jackson were rejected by a jury made a brief and apparently reluctant court appearance on welfare fraud charges.

india Updated: Oct 29, 2005 19:06 IST

The mother of a boy whose accusations of molestation against Michael Jackson were rejected by a jury made a brief and apparently reluctant court appearance on welfare fraud charges.

At first, the woman was absent from the Friday hearing, sending her lawyer to handle a postponement. But Superior Court Judge David Horwitz demanded that she come to court. After a two-hour delay, she rushed in, clad in a jogging suit.

She is accused of perjury in falsely applying for welfare aid. Prosecutors allege that she collected $18,782 (euro15,473) in fraudulently obtained welfare payments between November 2001 and March 2003, failing to disclose that she had received a $150,000 (euro123,578) settlement of a lawsuit against a department store chain. The 37-year-old woman didn't speak during Friday's proceeding. Her lawyer agreed to a postponement until December 19 for further scheduling.

Accompanied by a friend, the woman rushed out of the courtroom with her head down and refused to answer reporters' questions. At the Jackson trial in Santa Maria, she invoked Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination on the welfare fraud issue and did not testify about it.

Jackson was acquitted of molestation charges in June. Many jurors said the lack of credibility on the part of the woman and her children on the witness stand were major factors in their decisions.

First Published: Oct 29, 2005 19:06 IST