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Jackson Pre-Trial Hearings Set to Begin

SANTA MARIA, Calif. – Prosecutors in Michael Jackson’s child molestation case are pushing to introduce evidence of alleged wrongdoing in the past during pre-trial hearings scheduled to begin Monday.

Jackson, 46, is charged with molesting a boy, conspiracy and administering an intoxicating agent, alcohol, to his alleged victim. He faces trial on Jan. 31.

The Santa Barbara district attorney’s office is asking the judge to allow evidence that Jackson has committed other sex crimes over the years that went uncharged, such as a 1993 molestation case that was settled out of court.

Prosecutors said in their filing that the evidence will demonstrate Jackson’s “propensity” for such crimes, his motive and intent, and show how he “created the opportunities to achieve his goal.”

Jackson’s attorneys said they need a six-week delay of the trial to give them time to sort through 14,000 pages of evidence filed by prosecutors in the past two months.

Jackson’s defense also has filed a motion asking that the charges be dismissed on grounds of “vindictive prosecution and outrageous government conduct.”

The entertainer was not required to attend the week’s hearings, which are expected to continue through Wednesday.

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