A third accuser has emerged who claims that Michael Jackson abused him as a child, according to a statement issued Tuesday by the Los Angeles Police Department. ''The victim alleges the acts took place in the City of Los Angeles in the late 1980s,'' the LAPD statement said. ''The Department's Juvenile Division, Child Protection Section, is currently investigating the allegations.''
Police didn't offer any details as to the new accuser's identity. The New York Post, however, cites sources as saying that the accuser is an 18-year-old who leveled the accusations only this year because he had repressed the memories of Jackson touching him inappropriately when he was between the ages of 3 and 5, and again between ages 11 and 14.
Jackson has denied such allegations before. He has called the current charges pending against him in Santa Barbara that he molested a cancer-stricken young Neverland visitor a ''big lie.'' And he denied molesting the boy who accused him in 1993, though that case never went to court, as the boy declined to cooperate with prosecutors after Jackson paid him a reportedly multimillion-dollar settlement. The new accuser's charges are also false, Jackson attorney Mark Geragos told Reuters. ''It appears to be nothing more than part of an ongoing campaign to smear Michael with unfounded, scurrilous and ridiculous accusations,'' Geragos said, ''and we fully intend to find out who's behind it and take the appropriate actions.'' Another Jackson attorney, Benjamin Branfman, complained that the LAPD hadn't sought Jackson's side of the story. ''We have never been informed by the LAPD of any investigation that they are conducting of Michael Jackson,'' Brafman told the Post. ''I would point out that since I have been involved in this case, I have addressed literally dozens of completely baseless rumors on a daily basis, and this appears to be just another one of them.''