With his hands cuffed behind his back, Michael Jackson walked into a Santa Barbara sheriff’s station today to be booked in cooperation with yesterday’s issuance of an arrest warrant based on multiple counts of child molestation.
Michael Jackson’s mug shot
Jackson’s attorney, Mark Geragos, told reporters shortly afterward that Jackson had posted $3 million bond.
The singer was also required to surrender his passport.
Geragos said the pop star is ”outraged” by the charges and considers the accusations ”a big lie.”
He also said Jackson looks forward to getting into a courtroom to ”confront the charges head on.”
The entertainer left the sheriff’s station after about the booking process, flashing a peace sign and thumbs-up as he climbed into a black SUV.
Michael Jackson led into booking in handcuffs.
Sgt. Chris Pappas, spokesman for the Santa Barbara County sheriff, said Jackson’s arraignment will occur Jan. 9 in Santa Barbara Superior Court.
“Mr. Jackson’s people were very cooperative throughout [the booking]process,” he said.
Booking data indicate Jackson was weighed in at 120 pounds with a height of 5-11.
Jackson was in Las Vegas yesterday when an arrest warrant was issued and returned to California today in a private jet, landing at a Santa Barbara airport. Law-enforcement authorities then transported him to the sheriff’s station to be booked.
The arrest warrant was issued by Santa Barbara County law-enforcement authorities following an extensive police search of Jackson’s Neverland ranch on Tuesday. The warrant, which is based on allegations brought by a 12-year-old Los Angeles boy, details a violation of Section 288(a) of the California Penal Code – which prohibits lewd or lascivious acts with a child under age 14.
The television program “Celebrity Justice” said a therapist reported disclosures by the boy, who spent time at Neverland and began therapy several months ago.
Santa Barbara Sheriff Jim Anderson said in a press conference yesterday two other search warrants were issued for properties in Los Angeles County, but he would not reveal the specific locations.
Tom Sneddon, Santa Barbara County district attorney, announced the minimum jail term for a single count is three years, but that a judge could add two years for each additional count on which Jackson might be convicted. He would not say how many counts ultimately will be filed.
Sneddon stressed the differences between this case and a similar investigation in 1993 involving Jackson, which ended when the singer paid a multimillion-dollar settlement to the alleged victim.
In the ’93 case, Sneddon said, no arrest warrant was issued.
In addition, there was a civil case filed in ’93 concurrent with the criminal probe, which is not the case in this investigation.
Another difference, Sneddon said, was that authorities have “a cooperative victim in these particular proceedings,” as opposed to the alleged victim in 1993. That boy decided not to testify against Jackson.
Quoting sources, Fox News reports the boy at the center of the latest case may have confessed to his therapist that the pop singer plied him with wine and sleeping pills when he allegedly molested him.
Fox says the boy who made the allegations was a cancer patient whose “last wish” was to meet Jackson at a time that his friends and family feared his illness was worsening.
According to sources, Jackson paid the family’s medical bills and assisted them financially, even buying them a car and possibly a new house. Fox reports when the boy’s condition improved, according to a family friend, the pop star brought him to his ranch. That’s when the alleged inappropriate contact between them is thought to have occurred.
The boy reportedly has hired Los Angeles attorney Larry Feldman, the same lawyer who represented the child involved in the 1993 allegations.
Fox News columnist Roger Friedman reports Jackson has known about the boy’s allegations since last winter and hired famed attorney Mark Geragos – who is defending Scot Peterson against charges he murdered his pregnant wife – in March.
Jackson spokesperson Stuart Backerman released a statement yesterday afternoon.
“The outrageous allegations against Michael Jackson are false,” it reads. “Michael would never harm a child in any way. These scurrilous and totally unfounded allegations will be proven false in a courtroom.”
Sixty to 70 law-enforcement personnel from the Santa Barbara County sheriff’s and district attorney’s offices swarmed Jackson’s ranch Tuesday morning. The search lasted until 11 p.m., Anderson said.
The property has a mansion, its own zoo and amusement park with bumper cars, a merry-go-round and Ferris wheel.
Said Jackson in a statement Tuesday: “I’ve seen lawyers who don’t represent me and spokespeople who do not know me speaking for me. These characters always seem to surface with dreadful allegations just as another project, an album, a video is being released.”
According to the Associated Press, Epic Records Tuesday released “Number Ones,” a greatest hits collection featuring Jackson’s new single, “One More Chance.”
Sneddon said the timing of the search and arrest warrant were not set to coincide with Jackson’s new album.
Jackson’s career began to nosedive after the 1993 child-molestation allegations surfaced.
Earlier this year, WorldNetDaily reported the graphic details of the sexual relationship the boy says he and Jackson shared.
As WorldNetDaily reported, Jackson admitted in a February television documentary that he loves to have young boys sleep in his bed.
Although he claimed only “very few” boys had actually stayed in his bed, Jackson strongly defended the practice, saying: “Why can’t you share your bed? The most loving thing to do, is to share your bed with someone.”
When a reporter asked Anderson what he thought of parents who allow their children to spend the night at Neverland ranch, the sheriff said, “My advice is don’t do it.”