SANTA MARIA, Calif. (AP) – The judge in Michael Jackson’s child molestation trial rejected a defense request for a mistrial Friday after a witness mentioned the name of a youngster who leveled sex allegations against the pop star a decade ago.

On Thursday, a former housekeeper at Jackson’s Neverland ranch mentioned the boy who received a multimillion-dollar civil settlement after claiming in 1993 that Jackson molested him.

The defense argued the testimony violated Superior Court Judge Rodney Melville’s ruling that no evidence of past sexual crimes could be admitted unless the judge said so.

In denying the request for a mistrial, Melville said prosecutors elicited the testimony to establish how much contact Jackson had with boys who visited Neverland, not to suggest any impropriety by the singer.

The judge also set a March 28 date for a hearing on the prosecution request to allow evidence of alleged prior offenses into Jackson’s trial.

Jackson has never been convicted of a sexual offense, but prosecutors want to present witnesses they believe will show that the current case is part of a pattern.

Jackson, 46, is charged with molesting a 13-year-old cancer patient at Neverland in 2003. No testimony was heart Friday; it will resume on Monday.


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