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Jackson won’t share bed with kids again

Jackson won’t share bed with kids again

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SANTA MARIA, Calif. – Basking in the jurors’ decision to acquit his client of all counts, Michael Jackson’s lawyer said Tuesday the singer will no longer share his bed with young boys.

“He’s not going to do that anymore,” attorney Thomas Mesereau Jr. told NBC’s “Today.” “He’s not going to make himself vulnerable to this anymore.”{{more}}

Jackson was found not guilty Monday of child molestation, conspiracy and other counts. Jurors said the accusations of a young boy and his family were not credible — a total legal victory that triggered jubilation among the pop star’s fans and embarrassment for the district attorney’s office.

But Mesereau said the singer was still recovering from the ordeal.

“He’s going to take it one day at a time. It’s been a terrible, terrible process for him,” Mesereau said Tuesday.

The acquittals marked a stinging defeat for Santa Barbara County District Attorney Tom Sneddon, who displayed open hostility for Jackson and had pursued him for more than a decade, trying to prove the rumors that swirled around Jackson about his fondness for children.

Sneddon sat with his head in his hands after the verdicts were read.

“We don’t select victims of crimes and we don’t select the family. We try to make a conscientious decision and go forward,” Sneddon said afterward, adding “I’m not going to look back and apologize for anything that we’ve done.”

Jurors may have acquitted Jackson of all charges of molesting a 13-year-old cancer survivor, but not all of them were convinced the King of Pop had never molested a child.

“He’s just not guilty of the crimes he’s been charged with,” said Ray Hultman, who told The Associated Press he was one of three people on the 12-person panel who voted to acquit only after the other nine persuaded them there was reasonable doubt about the entertainer’s guilt in this particular case.

Prosecutors presented testimony about Jackson’s allegedly improper relationships with several boys in the early 1990s, including the son of a maid who testified that Jackson molested him during tickling session between 1987 and 1990. Another, Brett Barnes, took the stand to deny that he was molested during sleepovers at Neverland.

Some jurors noted they were troubled by Jackson’s admission that he allowed boys into his bed for what he characterized as innocent sleepovers.

“We would hope first of all that he doesn’t sleep with children anymore and that he learns that they have to stay with their families or stay in the guest rooms or the houses or whatever they’re called down there,” jury foreman Paul Rodriguez said. “And he just has to be careful how he conducts himself around children.”

The verdict means Jackson will be free to try to rebuild his blighted musical career. But his legal victory came at a terrible price to his image. AP

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