Michael Jackson will be formally charged with child molestation this week, nearly a month after his splashy arrest. The star will be charged on either Thursday afternoon or Friday morning, the Santa Barbara, Calif., district attorney’s office said in a press release. Whenever the charges are filed, the DA’s office plans to hold a press conference to discuss the allegations, according to the release.
Jackson’s lawyer, Mark Geragos, has said his client is innocent. And in recent weeks, reports have emerged that cast doubt on the credibility of Jackson’s accuser, including word of an earlier investigation by Los Angeles child welfare officials that concluded that Jackson was innocent. In affidavits provided for that investigation, the accuser, his mother, and his brother all denied the molestation allegations.
But district attorney Tom Sneddon has said that he was aware of the earlier investigation when he obtained a search warrant for Jackson’s Neverland Ranch and arrested the singer. Some of the evidence that prompted him to proceed will presumably be revealed when charges are finally brought.