Wednesday, November 19
JACKSON TO FACE MULTIPLE CHILD MOLESTATION CHARGES
nme.com, November 19, 2003
The full extent of the Michael Jackson abuse case is beginning to emerge tonight (November 19) as police in California have announced they will file multiple charges of child abuse against the star.
A warrant has been issued for his arrest and at a press conference this evening, police said they are negotiating with Jackson’s lawyers for the singer to hand himself in. He is thought to be in Las Vegas where he has been shooting a video. Bail will be set at $3million and Jackson will have to surrender his passport. None of the charges have been specified yet, though Jackson is suspected of abusing a 12-year-old boy. Each of the charges carries a maximum jail term of eight years.
Jackson’s publicist Stuart Backerman, said in a statement that the singer "could not comment on the investigation because we do not yet know what it is about".
Speaking at the press conference, Santa Barbara Sheriff Jim Anderson confirmed that 70 police officers searched Mr Jackson's ranch, Neverland, yesterday, looking for "evidence that would corroborate the victim's statements." And in a further twist, he called on anyone with information on other victims to come forward.
The investigation is being led by Tom Sneddon, the same district attorney who looked into similar allegations 10 years ago. Then, the alleged victim declined to co-operate with the authorities and reached a multi-million dollar out of court settlement with Jackson.
Sneddon said California law had changed as a result of the earlier Jackson investigation, and that this time they had a witness willing to help with a criminal investigation. [...more]