SANTA MARIA, Calif. -- A former security guard at Michael Jackson's Neverland Valley Ranch told a lurid story yesterday about seeing the singer kiss, fondle, and perform oral sex on a boy who later received a financial settlement from the pop star.
But the credibility of the guard and another prosecution witness who also testified seeing Jackson fondle boys took an enormous hit during cross-examination by defense lawyer Thomas Mesereau Jr.
Mesereau attacked the security guard, Ralph Chacon, as having concocted the account ''to get even" with the singer and portrayed the other witness, former Jackson maid Adrian McManus, as a thief and a liar. He accused Chacon of having tried to extort $16 million from Jackson in a lawsuit and lengthy trial that he, McManus, and other former employees lost. They were ultimately ordered to pay more than $1.4 million in a judgment won by Jackson.
''After a six-month trial, this is a good way to get even with him, isn't it?" Mesereau asked Chacon, drawing a strong objection from the prosecution.
The testimony is part of a prosecution attempt to show that the current molestation allegations against Jackson are part of a pattern of inappropriate sexual contact with boys dating back more than a decade.
In questioning by District Attorney Tom Sneddon, Chacon told of looking through a window one night at Jackson's pool house in late 1992 or early 1993 and seeing him perform oral sex on a 10-year-old boy.
Chacon said he saw Jackson engage in activities he described as passionate after the singer and the boy took a dip in an outdoor Jacuzzi and showered. He said he saw Jackson kiss the boy's head and shoulders and later moved his hands ''down to his private area." He also said there was another incident in which Jackson took the boy away in a golf cart and kissed him in front of a Peter Pan display.
The boy received a financial settlement, reportedly between $15 million and $20 million, from Jackson in 1994. The boy did not cooperate with a police investigation, and no charges were filed against Jackson. The boy is not scheduled to testify in the trial.
Jackson, 46, is accused of molesting a 13-year-old boy in 2003, giving him alcohol, and conspiring to hold the boy's family captive to get them to make a video rebutting a TV documentary in which Jackson had said he allowed children to sleep in his bed but that it was innocent.
McManus, a maid for Jackson between 1990 and 1994, also testified yesterday that she saw the pop star kiss actor Macaulay Culkin on the cheek while his hand was on Culkin's bottom. The defense has asserted that Culkin has repeatedly said he was never molested, and a spokeswoman for the actor has said he has no plans to be part of the case.
McManus described a similar scene with two other boys and a third incident involving the same boy Chacon testified about.
In the latter incident, she said, Jackson and the boy were changing their shirts when Jackson kissed the boy on his cheek and mouth and put his hand on his groin area.
But McManus also testified that when subpoenaed in the lawsuit that resulted in the 1994 settlement, she did not tell attorneys she had seen Jackson touching the boy.
''I didn't tell the truth," she said. ''I said I didn't see anything."
Mesereau confronted her repeatedly with statements from her deposition and each time she said she could not recall until the attorney showed them to her.
''Do you know how many times you lied under oath in the . . . deposition?" Mesereau said.
''The whole time," she said. ''I believe I didn't tell the truth."
She said she was afraid of Jackson because he had threatened to report her to her superiors if she did anything he did not like.
She also said she needed the job because her husband had been laid off and a house payment was due.
Mesereau also noted that McManus and her husband were found in a lawsuit to have defrauded three children of more than $30,500 from their estate, and that she had been assessed $30,000 for stealing a sketch of Elvis Presley which Jackson had drawn and selling it to a tabloid.
McManus insisted that she found the sketch in the trash and did not consider its worth.
The former guard also acknowledged he was ordered to pay $25,000 for allegedly stealing Jackson's property, which he said was only a candy bar.