Jackson denies molestation charge

Nov. 19, 2003 at 10:52 PM
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SANTA BARBARA, Calif., Nov. 19 (UPI) -- A spokesman for singer Michael Jackson issued a statement Wednesday denying charges, made by California authorities, of child molestation.

"The outrageous allegations against Michael Jackson are false," said the statement. "Michael would never harm a child in any way. These scurrilous and totally unfounded allegations will be proven false in a courtroom."

Authorities in Santa Barbara issued an arrest warrant earlier Wednesday for Jackson, charging him with multiple counts of child molestation.

The Jackson spokesman's statement said lawyer Mark Geragos had arranged with authorities for Jackson's return from Las Vegas.

Those authorities confirmed that Jackson's surrender was being sought because of allegations by a 12-year-old boy from the Los Angeles area. They said they would ask for bond of $3 million.

Sheriff Jim Anderson said he expected the reclusive entertainer to turn himself in and surrender his passport.

Sheriff's deputies and prosecutors spent a full day searching Jackson's Neverland Ranch for evidence in the case. Two other locations were also searched.

District Attorney Tom Sneddon rejected any speculation that the probe stemmed from an attempt to trash Jackson's image or further a civil suit by the alleged victim's family.

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