At this point in time, Mr. Jackson has been given an opportunity to surrender himself to the custody of the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Department within a specified period of time.” So said Sheriff Jim Anderson at news conference following the issuing on an arrest warrant for Michael Jackson on multiple counts of molesting a child. “We are currently working with Mr. Jackson’s legal representation on this matter,” he continued. And so, another chapter in the bizarre life of the world’s most bizarre entertainer opens.

Bail for Jackson would be set at $3 million, Anderson said.

District Attorney Thomas W. Sneddon Jr. said he wouldn’t release details about the alleged crimes except to say that there was only one victim and that the victim was cooperating.

In 1993, Jackson had faced a child molestation investigation that never resulted in criminal charges because the child refused to testify. Jackson reportedly paid a multimillion dollar settlement in that case but maintained his innocence.

The arrest warrant Sneddon discussed Wednesday was for violation of a California law that prohibits lewd or lascivious acts with a child under age 14. A conviction carries three to eight years in prison.

Sneddon said an affidavit outlining details of the case will be sealed for 45 days. He would not say how many charges Jackson would face.

As many as 70 law enforcement officials served a search warrant at Jackson’s Neverland Ranch on Tuesday and searched for evidence for more than 12 hours. The $12.3 million Neverland Ranch in the Santa Ynez Valley has a mansion, its own zoo and amusement park, and has often been the site of children’s parties.

Search warrants also were served for two other locations in Southern California, Anderson said. He did not disclose the other two locations.

Earlier Wednesday, a spokesman for Jackson, Stuart Backerman, told The Associated Press that he was consulting with attorneys and planned to issue a statement later in the day.

He declined further comment, saying neither he nor Jackson knew the details of the investigation.

Jackson, who reportedly was in Las Vegas when the search warrant was served, denounced media coverage in a statement earlier released to The Associated Press by Backerman.

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