SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (AP) —Authorities issued a warrant
for Michael Jackson’s arrest on charges of molesting a child
and asked the pop superstar yesterday to turn himself in and
surrender his passport. Jackson’s spokesman called the
allegations “scurrilous and totally unfounded.”
The 45-year-old King of Pop was accused of multiple counts of
lewd or lascivious acts with a child under 14. A decade ago,
Jackson was also accused of molestation but was never charged
because the youngster refused to testify.
“I am sad that there is another victim out there. I feel
bad for the family. I feel bad for the victim. Beyond that, I feel
it is a sad thing for all those involved,” District Attorney
Thomas Sneddon Jr. said at a news conference.
Jackson was believed to be in Las Vegas working at a recording
“Get over here and get checked in,” the prosecutor
Sneddon would not say when or where the alleged crimes took
place or how old the youngster was. He said an affidavit outlining
the details will be sealed for 45 days.
But Brian Oxman, an attorney who has represented the Jackson
family over the years, told CBS that the case involves the alleged
molestation of a 12-year-old boy at Jackson’s Neverland
Ranch, the storybook playground where the singer has been known to
hold sleepover parties with children. Oxman is not representing
CBS immediately pulled a Jackson music special planned for next
Wednesday on his greatest hits and the impact on pop culture of the
former child star who got his start with his brothers as a member
of the singing-and-dancing Jackson 5.
“Given the gravity of the charges against Mr. Jackson, we
believe it would be inappropriate at this time to broadcast an
entertainment special,” the network said.
On Tuesday, as many as 70 law enforcement officers spent 12
hours searching the Neverland Ranch for corroborating evidence. The
$12.3 million ranch has a mansion, its own zoo and amusement
Each of the sex charges is punishable by three to eight years in
prison. Sneddon would not say how many counts Jackson faces.
Bail will be set at $3 million, authorities said.
Sheriff Jim Anderson said authorities have been in contact with
Jackson’s lawyers and the singer has been given the chance to
surrender “within a specified period of time.”