Jackson's 'victim' tells of taunts by classmates

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The teenage boy accusing Michael Jackson of sexual abuse said yesterday he was too afraid of being teased by his classmates as "the kid that got raped by Michael Jackson" to admit anything was wrong when challenged by a senior administrator at his school.

The teenage boy accusing Michael Jackson of sexual abuse said yesterday he was too afraid of being teased by his classmates as "the kid that got raped by Michael Jackson" to admit anything was wrong when challenged by a senior administrator at his school.

Gavin Arviso, now 15, described how he was relentlessly teased at the John Burroughs Middle School in Los Angeles after the airing of Martin Bashir's documentary Living With Michael Jackson in February 2003.

"All the kids would laugh at me and try to push me around and say, 'That's the kid that got raped by Michael Jackson'," he told the jury in the Californian town of Santa Maria.

On Monday, he acknowledged to Mr Jackson's defence lawyer Tom Mesereau, that the dean of his school - who called him in because of numerous disturbances in the playground - had asked him directly whether Mr Jackson had molested him and that he replied, twice, that he had not.

The Santa Barbara County district attorney, Tom Sneddon, asked him why he had denied the abuse.

"All the kids were already making fun of me in school and I didn't want them to think it happened," he replied.

As his four days of testimony came to an end, Mr Arviso managed to squeeze a potentially damaging detail - he said some of his underwear, along with some shirts and trousers, were missing from a suitcase that was returned to him after he left Neverland for the last time in March 2003.

The case continues.

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