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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
Police Press Conference on Michael Jackson
Aired November 19, 2003 - 14:02 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: We thought that this was only one allegation. Now we are being told possible multiple incidents. We had even gotten some sound not long ago. The D.A. that we see here on the screen now, coming forward, actually talking to a Court TV reporter and being very frank about the number of -- it looks like he'll take the mic now.
TOM SNEDDON, SANTA BARBARA COUNTY D.A.: Coming to Santa Barbara, I hope you, too, all stay long and spend lots of money, because we need your sales tax to support our offices.
This morning, let me just say that -- give you a little game plan here in terms of what you can expect. I'm going to make a couple of opening remarks to set down the process rules. I'll introduce Sheriff Jim Anderson standing next to me, and Sheriff Anderson, who will make a statement, and then I have a few things to say from the legal perspective of the case that I think might help satisfy some of your answers. And then at that point, the sheriff and I are going to take questions. We will take a reasonable amount of questions until it becomes either redundant or we're wore out.
And at that point, you know, we'll give you a warning like I guess they do on the real things, you got two more to say, or something like that.
So first of all, in terms of the process, as I indicated, the format will be the sheriff is going to talk, I'll talk, then we'll do the questions and answer. So I really would appreciate it -- I don't think this will be a problem, because we're going to stick around. So save your questions until after we've completed our -- at least what we consider canned remarks, or whatever you call it in your industry.
Secondly, although I realize, just like I hope most of you all realize, we have different roles and responsibilities in connection with what we do in this. And we all know this is a very serious situation. That we're not going to answer questions involving the specifics of this case, and the timelines of this case or the names of the people involved in this case. I think probably most of you, as a veteran reporter, understand the reason that we're not doing this. We're not trying to be difficult, but this is an ongoing investigation. I think that's something the sheriff and I feel very strongly about.
So to the extent that you try to do your jobs and pry that information out of us, I think you'll find us to be a tough sell.
Thirdly, in the future, many of you have generously called both the sheriff and I to appear on all kinds of programs from -- I won't even announce it, because I don't want to give them any publicity. But all the high crime, primetime talk show things. And I want you to know so that you all know, so that you don't want your time and your producer's time, anybody else's time, the sheriff and I are not going on any TV programs. We are not going to be making any public statements about this case, except in a press conference format. All future information about the case will come out of Chris Poppis (ph). Chris is the PIO for the sheriff's department, or on the Web sites of either department. We both have Web sites.
We're not trying to be difficult, but I think you have to understand the sheriff and I have a responsibility to the citizens of this county. We have busy schedules, in terms of what we're doing and the cases we're handling in other investigations, and we just can't have our switchboards taken down by trying to answer press inquiries. I think we're trying to be reasonable and set up a process that can help you do your job while we can continue to do our job to protect the citizens of Santa Barbara County, and I hope you'll understand that.
So without further ado, as they say, I want to introduce to you a good friend of mine and the current sheriff of Santa Barbara County, Jim Anderson -- Sheriff.
SHERIFF JIM ANDERSON, SANTA BARBARA CO., CALIFORNIA: Thank you, Tom.
Good morning, ladies and gentlemen.
Yesterday morning at around 8:30 a.m., investigators from the Santa Barbara Sheriff's Department served a search warrant at Neverland Ranch. Simultaneous to the service of the warrant at Neverland Ranch two search warrants were also served in Southern California. Approximately 70 investigators from the sheriff's department and district attorney's office were involved in the service of this warrant at Neverland Ranch. The operation was concluded around 11:00 p.m. last night. The service of the warrants was part of an ongoing investigation alleging criminal misconduct on the part of Michael Jackson.
The basis for this investigation regarding Mr. Jackson involves allegations of child molestation 288-A of the California penal code. Additionally, an arrest warrant for Mr. Jackson has been issued on multiple counts of child molestation. The bail amount on the warrant has been set at $3 million.
At this point in time, Mr. Jackson's been give and opportunity to surrender himself to the custody of the Santa Barbara Sheriff's Department within a specified period of time. We are currently working with Mr. Jackson's legal representation on this matter. Mr. Jackson has also been directed to surrender his passport when he's taken into custody.
While we appreciate the level of interest generated by this case, the Santa Barbara Sheriff's Department is committed to maintaining the integrity of this investigation with respects to both legal and ethical considerations. We will not be commenting on issues specific to the investigation beyond what has already been released.
SNEDDON: Thank you, Jim.
Let me just add a few things to what the sheriff has said from the perspective of the district attorney's office, and we do have some releases in writing that you can get -- either they've been passed around already or you can get them afterward. Commonly, in these kinds of cases -- let me clarify something, because some of you are not lawyers and I don't want you to get it wrong. There's a 288 and a 288-A. There's a 288, paren, small a, which is the child-molesting section, 288-A is another offense. Just so we all understand, we're talking about a violation of 288 paren, small a, child molesting, not oral copulation of an adult -- or of children. OK, so I want to clarify that so that you understand that.
Secondly, ordinarily, sometimes either myself or my staff are asked in cases like this what the penalties are. In California, we have a determinant sentence. Determinant sentence meaning the legislature set a timeframe upon conviction if, worst case scenario, the judge decides to send a person to state prison. In this particular case, the triad is three year, six years and eight years. So minimum would be three, the maximum would be eight for the single count. We are filing multiple counts.
So potentially, on the -- if we get to the point where there is a conviction and sentencing, the judge would have the discretion at that point to give multiple consecutive sentences and the limits on the judge at that point are one-third of the middle term, which would be an additional two years, you can do the math, for each additional one consecutive, and it's not mandatory, it's discretionary. I'm not suggesting to you any of this could happen, but I'm asked routinely what is the outside worst-case scenario. I don't want anybody to imply from anything that I've said or any remarks I've said that any one of those things is going to happen, but that's just what the sentencing timeframes are.
One thing I want to emphasize, and I'm saying this because I couldn't resist the temptation to watch a little bit of some of this coverage last night on TV. And I heard a lot of apologists for Mr. Jackson saying some things that I think we can -- the sheriff and I can talk about that I think are important for you, as the media, and for the public, who is going to hear these thing, to be told.
I heard a lot of people saying it was deja vu, I heard a lot of people saying it was another rip off by some family to get money. I want to make several things clear about why this is different from the last investigation. No. 1, it is different because the law in California has changed. And it was changed specifically because of the 1993, 1994 Michael Jackson investigation.
The law in California at that time provided that a child victim could not be forced to testify in a child molest proceedings without their permission and consent and cooperation. As a result of the Michael Jackson case, the legislature changed that law and that is no longer the law in California. Secondly, as you all know, or most of you know, either from being involved or knowing about that investigation, there were never any charges brought in that investigation, no warrant issued. There is a warrant outstanding and I can assure you that within a very short period of time there will be charges filed against Mr. Jackson, multiple counts. That's different.
Third, at the time of the investigation back -- I just hit somebody off, but -- it's TV Aztec, whoever you are. Sorry, I apologize. I got carried away here.
Just lay it flat -- there's no room up here, you folks have -- I'll just hang on to it. That way I don't have to worry about knocking any more off.
All right. Third. Here we go. Is that at the time of the investigation in 1993 and 1994, as those of you who have followed that know, there was a contemporaneous civil case that was filed by attorney Larry Feldman in Los Angeles.
And that that case was filed almost immediately at the same time that our office and the Los Angeles district attorney's office was notified of the allegations and we commenced our investigations.
That civil case culminated prior to the completion of our investigation. I say completion because at the time that that civil settlement went down, the victim indicated to us they would no longer -- were no longer interested in cooperating criminally. There is no civil case filed and there is no anticipation there will be a civil case filed in this particular case.
And the last reason this is different in this particular case, we have a cooperative victim in this particular proceeding. So I think there's something -- some things that are very different about what's going on today and what occurred before.
Another thing I think the sheriff and I are -- need -- feel concerned that we want to clarify about allegations that we've heard. There's been -- Jackson himself, I believe, has said that this was all done to try to ruin his new CD that was coming out or whatever it is he's doing. Like the sheriff and I really are into that kind of music.
But -- but the fact -- and all my kids are grown now pretty much, so -- but the fact of the matter is, what you need to know is that in actually, we had no knowledge of that prior to the time we determined the date of the execution of this.
And, in fact, we were going to execute these warrants several weeks ago but had to put it off because of all the visitors we had come up here, the 50,000 people who came in for Halloween.
So it really has nothing to do with his album or whatever else he's doing in his life. We don't -- we don't track him. So I think it is important for people to know that we've been ready to do this for some period of time and it was just an operational thing within the sheriff's department because of the tremendous manpower, person- power that they had to put out for the Halloween thing.
And the last question, before we'll open it up, is I know you'll probably ask some questions about child protective services. Both in Los Angeles and Santa Barbara.
Child protective services at this point in time is not involved in these investigations. There were some previous contacts by folks in the Los Angeles child protective services involving some other things that came out when the -- don't assume from that I'm talking about the same family. I'm just telling you there was child protective services involved in other allegations involving Mr. Jackson in Los Angeles.
There has been no involvement on either one of those departments and any one of those things -- involving any of that information. This has solely been an operation run by the Santa Barbara Sheriff's Department, and I've been advising them and members of my staff have been advising them on the legal issues involved in the investigation.
Whether they will get involved, obviously, there's going to be -- at least the local Santa Barbara people where it's pertinent will be notified of it and what they do, they do.
Just so some of you -- who are really sharp, understand, in Santa Barbara, the D.A.'s office handles the 300 petitions so we will be conflicting out of that and having the court request that they appoint other counsel so there's no allegations that we're involved in that process and get information from that process, and it's at arm's length. we build a firewall involved in that. So it's just a different thing.
We will not be involved, there will be separate counsel appointed to represent the Department of Child Services in Santa Barbara. Sheriff,do you have anything to add, before we open it up?
ANDERSON: Just that we have copies of the news-release this morning to provide to you, both from the sheriff's department and district attorney's office. Now we'll open it up for questions.
QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) flight risk?
ANDERSON: There's always that potential. But we are actively pursuing the arrest warrant at this time.
QUESTION: Why are you waiting to file charges? Are you waiting to see if in fact he cooperates and surrenders, vis-a-vis, you have to go arrest him? Is that why you're waiting to file the charges?
SNEDDON: The filing of the charges had nothing to do with that. I know it -- it seems simple to people to get together a search warrant for several different places and stuff like that, but it's just a matter of a decision we made to do a Rhami (ph) warrant, an affidavit, get a judicial authorization, and that give us time to go back and do the formal charging another time. That's all it was.
QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) surrender? SNEDDON: We're not going to discuss the time frame for the surrender.
ANDERSON: One at a time.
QUESTION: Could his children be taken away from him, Mr. Smith (ph)? --
SNEDDON: I beg your pardon?
QUESTION: Could Michael Jackson's children be taken away from him?
SNEDDON: That's a decision that would be made by a juvenile court.
ANDERSON: No, no, we do not.
SNEDDON: I beg your pardon?
QUESTION: You mentioned two other search warrants (OFF-MIKE)?
SNEDDON: (OFF-MIKE) two other warrants (OFF-MIKE)?
ANDERSON: I'm not going to get into the detail of those. But we did serve two in Southern California and we did acquire additional property...
QUESTION: Can you talk about what, when where, why?
ANDERSON: It was yesterday, the same time the search warrant was served here in Santa Barbara County.
QUESTION: In general terms, sir, can you just talk about in general what you all were looking for?
ANDERSON: Items of evidence that would corroborate the victim's statements.
QUESTION: As much as you can talk about, can you say what you all believe happened and why the evidence was compelling enough to issue an arrest warrant?
ANDERSON: We're not going to get into the specifics of the case.
SNEDDON: We want to -- we want to clarify something. There is an affidavit in this particular occasion. That affidavit has been sealed for 45 days and will not be released for 45 days. In order for us to complete the investigation.
QUESTION: When it did start (OFF-MIKE)?
SNEDDON: This gentleman here has a question.
QUESTION: When did this start? When did this 12-year-old's parents come forward and notify you? SNEDDON: You assume things we haven't said, okay. So we are not going to answer that question.
QUESTION: We heard that it was attorney Larry Feldman who caused the boy to come to the sheriff's office and talk to the D.A.'s office, can you confirm your office has had discussions with attorney Larry Feldman?
QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) asked him to surrender his passport. How realistically do you think it is he might flee overseas?
ANDERSON: There's always that possibility. But I believe he's willing to cooperate with us and turn ever his passport at this point. [ inaudible ]
QUESTION: Is Mr. Geragos representing Mr. Jackson (OFF-MIKE)?
ANDERSON: I believe that is correct.
SNEDDON: That is what was represented to me in my conversation with him.
QUESTION: Over what period of time did this occur?
SNEDDON: Not going to discuss that.
QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) protective custody already?
ANDERSON: What children?
QUESTION: His own children.
ANDERSON: At this point in time, they're not in California.
QUESTION: Is there a possibility of any other victims?
ANDERSON: Yes there is that possibility and we would encourage the public to come forward if they have any information whatsoever that would lead us to believe there are other victims in the community to contact us so we can follow up on that information.
QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) counts only involving the one child?
SNEDDON: I'm not going to answer that.
QUESTION: I just want to know if you do not know where Michael Jackson is at the moment, but how soon -- if he doesn't turn himself in by a certain time, what will happen and how long is that time designated to have himself turn himself in?
SNEDDON: You'll know about it when it gets there.
QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) special treatment -- because of this arrangement to turn himself in? SNEDDON: John, you're the worst person to be asking that question. Because you know in this county that we have traditionally done that for other people as a courtesy. And we've done it for other people and we're not doing anything different and you know that.
QUESTION: Would you do it for any member of the public?
ANDERSON: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) on a case by case basis.
QUESTION: Are you confident your victim's willing to testify this time?
QUESTION: You mentioned multiple counts. How many counts are there?
SNEDDON: We're not going to say.
QUESTION: Why won't you say if there's more than one child now or not? Why?
SNEDDON: I'm not.
SNEDDON: Hold on, hold on. This gentleman back here.
QUESTION: Is the district attorney's office right now in any sort of deal making with Michael Jackson's attorneys, whoever (OFF- MIKE)? Is there any sort of deal, if you're talking about a surrender possible deal, anything like that?
SNEDDON: A deal to surrender himself or a deal?
QUESTION: Well, let's talk about both.
SNEDDON: I wouldn't comment on either one of those. But we've been in contact with his lawyer.
QUESTION: Is he (OFF-MIKE)?
SNEDDON: I'm sorry?
QUESTION: Is he still in Las Vegas?
SNEDDON: I don't know. I mean we really have a life other than Michael Jackson and we've been trying to work on our investigation, as you well know, because I saw it on TV before I came down here.
The last word I had on somebody standing out in front of a hotel was that he was still there. But then there was some other people who said they saw him leave last night.
So you get these conflicting testimonies about what's going on.
QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) you were involved ten years ago. Can you talk about your satisfaction in finally bringing Michael Jackson, in your mind, to Justice? And can you talk about do you feel he has a problem dealing with children?
SNEDDON: All right, first of all, I haven't been dealing with Michael Jackson for anything. When that case went to bed, ten years ago, it was out of my mind.
You folks and people keep calling every time he does a bizarre thing to ask me my comment about it. But I have -- I really do have a lot of things going on, as do the sheriff, former sheriff, and people in my office. We really have a very busy office. I haven't given it a passing thought.
My feelings about this is -- and I'm sad that there's another victim out there. I feel bad for the family, I feel bad for the victim. Beyond that, I think it's a sad thing for all the people involved in this thing, quite frankly.
QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) your office, perhaps he bought his way out of those charges ten years ago and now you may have the goods?
SNEDDON: That he bought his way out?
QUESTION: Is there a sense in your office that he bought...
SNEDDON: I think there's a sense in the public he did that. And (UNINTELLIGIBLE) lay it off on me and my office?
SNEDDON: Hold on this lady back here. Go ahead.
QUESTION: Did you say (OFF-MIKE) Michael Jackson's children are out of California?
SNEDDON: She answered your question for you.
QUESTION: Does the law call for them to be taken into protective custody as a matter of course if his father's under arrest for molestation charges if he returns to California?
SNEDDON: Not necessarily. Not at this point in time, no.
QUESTION: Wait a minute. You can have a father charged with sexual abuse of a minor and leave the children in the home with that father?
SNEDDON: Everyone is innocent until convicted.
QUESTION: Is the child involved a boy or a girl?
SNEDDON: I'm not going to talk about that. You can tell from the charges it has to be a child.
QUESTION: Sheriff, I'm a little confused. If you had 70 guys out on his ranch, you didn't know where Michael Jackson was yesterday. And if you consider this to be a possible flight risk, why would you not have known?
ANDERSON: We had an idea where he might be. That wasn't confirmed yesterday morning. Yesterday evening, there -- there was additional information that came to our attention that he was coming back to the state of California. But beyond that we have no additional information at this point in time.
QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) uncooperative. Will you compel him to testify if he becomes uncooperative?
SNEDDON: No reason to answer that question.
QUESTION: Mr. Sneddon, did you find anything you were looking for?
SNEDDON: We're not going to comment on that.
I will say this -- excuse me a second. On the gentleman's question, I think the sheriff and I probably feel comfortable saying this much. One of the things that -- you know, there's been a question about why so many people went in there why we were there so long.
One of the things that -- some of you are familiar, just looking at the aerials, that's a pretty huge complex. And we were authorized by the court to go in and video inside and out all of the buildings on the premise. And just, if you can imagine, how long it took just to complete that process.
Beyond that we're not going to talk about anything else that was done at the premises.
SNEDDON: I'm sorry?
QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) warrant be issued if he does not return to California?
SNEDDON: Of course.
ANDERSON: Yes. QUESTION: Will you prosecute this yourself?
SNEDDON: Yes, but not by myself. There will be another lawyer from my office assigned to the case.
QUESTION: Would you be the lead chair on a case like this? I know your retirement's coming up. Would this be the last big case for you?
SNEDDON: Not necessarily. And I wouldn't be the lead attorney. When I do things with people in my office, which I've done before, we do it as co-counsel, as colleagues.
ANDERSON: OK, Over here.
QUESTION: Mr. Anderson, have you sent sheriff deputies to Las Vegas?
ANDERSON: No, we have not. We have been in communication with Las Vegas, but our personnel are not there at this time.
QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) can you surrender in Nevada?
SNEDDON: I think the sheriff made that pretty clear where it was.
QUESTION: Is this going to be an expensive prosecution/investigation for your county? How are you going to handle that given the state's problems?
SNEDDON: It's our job.
QUESTION: If Michael Jackson's watching this right now or his people, it's your opportunity to tell him what you'd like -- should he contact authorities immediately? What's your message to him?
SNEDDON: Get over here and get checked in.
ANDERSON: We would encourage him to turn himself in and cooperate with law enforcement. Yes.
QUESTION: The warrant served in southern California, were they homes or were they businesses?
ANDERSON: We're not going to comment.
QUESTION: You guys say you're open to other possible victims coming forward. Do you have knowledge at this point of other possible victims that may be included in this suit?
ANDERSON: No comment, at this point.
QUESTION: How long have you been work on this case (OFF-MIKE)?
SNEDDON: It's just been an ongoing investigation. We're not going to get involved until I give you a timeline. I think I made that pretty clear.
SNEDDON: Not going to talk about that.
QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) in this case is a boy or a girl?
SNEDDON: No, we're not going to talk about the facts of the case.
QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) number of counts (OFF-MIKE) can you at least tell -- are we talking 10, 20, or 4 or 5? There's a big difference there.
SNEDDON: That's only significant to you. To me, it's multiple counts and we'll file the document, which will be public...
SNEDDON: To the sentencing judge upon conviction, but we have a long way to go before we get there.
QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) Michael Jackson's legal representation and your office? I know you're only going to say certain things. Just give us a sense like -- did they call you? Did you call them? How did that whole thing happen?
SNEDDON: As has already been reported, as probably many of you saw, I talked to Steve Cochran (ph) at the gate yesterday afternoon for a brief time, a very cordial conversation. I know Mr. Cochran, Steve Cochran, from before, and from some other things. We get along very well.
And then later, yesterday afternoon, when I got back to my office, the other gentleman called me. Again, we had a very cordial conversation. And beyond that, I'm not at liberty to disclose those conversations.
ANDERSON: This person here -- hold on, hold on. This person here. Go ahead.
QUESTION: How's the victim doing? Are they getting any help?
SNEDDON: I'm not going to comment on that either.
ANDERSON: OK, now your question. SNEDDON: It's a legitimate question, but we're not going to comment on it.
QUESTION: Can you clarify is there an actual time deadline before you will say Michael Jackson hasn't cooperated and we're going to go after him?
SNEDDON: No. There is not -- well, yes there is. I'm sorry. We're not going to tell you what it is. I thought you were going to ask me a different question. That's why I was thinking...
QUESTION: ... we waited for another celebrity to turn themselves in. So Los Angeles media tends to be a little leery if there's no deadline on when a person, particularly a celebrity, can turn themselves in. So that's why we were hoping to narrow it down.
SNEDDON: You're working in Santa Barbara now. You got to put away the past and get with the future.
QUESTION: Everybody's going to be watching this case. You're going up against a very big client and also big attorneys on their end. How confident are you that you're actually going to get (OFF- MIKE) Michael Jackson?
SNEDDON: No comment. They had big attorneys last time.
QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) individual accused of this kind of a crime to turn themselves in, or do you go after them?
SNEDDON: I would say that my answer's the same as I gave before. We've done it before and we'd do it again in the appropriate situation.
SNEDDON: We're not going to get into that.
QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) going on for? How long has this investigation been going on for?
SNEDDON: We answered that already.
QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) in Santa Barbara?
SNEDDON: Why not?
QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) Did you get a phone call? Did some one tip you off? You've been investigating this for two or three months. What led to this enormous, massive investigation and search yesterday? SNEDDON: Well, like in any other criminal investigation, we have to have someone who's a victim come forward and present the information to law enforcement. That's what begins the process for the investigation to start.
QUESTION: When did that happen? Two or three months ago?
SNEDDON: We're not going to get into timelines.
QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) come to you by himself or with his family? How did that come about?
SNEDDON: You know, people have asked now that about six different ways. And I think it's pretty clear we're not going to disclose any of that information.
QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) involved in this case as well in serving the search warrants out in Century City?
SNEDDON: I'm sorry?
QUESTION: Was there a hearing to seal the search warrants?
SNEDDON: No. Well, yes, I guess there was. There was a judge and there were people there. But it was -- as is always the case when you ask for sealing, it's -- the information has to be put in the search warrant to justify it. And then the -- it's a judicial decision, it's not ours.
QUESTION: It's well known that Michael Jackson is always surrounded by servants and bodyguards and -- I'm not questioning your investigation, I'm trying to understand how the molestation of a child could happen with all those kinds of people around him all the time? Might you be filing charges against other people that work for Michael Jackson?
SNEDDON: I can't comment on that at this point in time. But we are continuing a criminal investigation.
QUESTION: Have you questioned people close to Michael Jackson about their association with this victim that came forward?
SNEDDON: I'm not going to comment on the specifics of the investigation.
QUESTION: Excuse me, I haven't asked a question yet. Sheriff, are you going to be serving us members of the media lunch after this press conference?
ANDERSON: You evidently don't know about the budget crisis. SNEDDON: Yes, we have a budget problem.
ANDERSON: No comment.
In the back here, in the back.
QUESTION: what's the next step after -- after he turns himself in. When is the arraignment? What's the time frame?
SNEDDON: I'll talk to you generically because there is some give and take in these things. So I don't want anybody to take this as an absolute thing that's set in concrete.
Ordinarily -- let's just put this case aside and talk generically about situations where we've allowed people to surrender themselves before with their lawyers and get booked and fingerprinted, is that they're given -- and if they make the bail that's set by the judge. Then they are cited to appear in court on a certain date in the future and that citation date can be anywhere from probably 30 days to 45 days.
At that point, then the district attorney's office must have on file a formal criminal charging document at the time the individual's brought -- or comes to court pursuant to that citation released. That is the initial date for appearance for arraignment.
And as many of you who cover other notorious cases in the past or that are going on in future know that in many instances the defendant and his attorney will appear for the first time and continue the and not enter a plea immediately, but do so as a subsequent date.
That's generic. That's what happens generically. I cannot tell you what's going to happen at this point because Mr. Jackson is not in custody.
QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) 45 days to charge him from the date (OFF- MIKE)? You don't have to file charges for 45 days?
SNEDDON: Generically, in the scenario I just gave you, it gives us up to about 45 days if we seek to do that. Doesn't mean we have to do it.
QUESTION: Your sense in this case, general sense, how long (OFF- MIKE)?
SNEDDON: I think I made it clear in the press release that we intend to do something very soon.
QUESTION: Will there be a condition of Mr. Jackson's bail that he not have contact with minors after he's taken into custody, if he makes bail, assuming?
SNEDDON: That will be one of the things that will probably be brought up at the bail hearing if there's a bail hearing. QUESTION: Will you suggest that?
SNEDDON: It's under consideration.
QUESTION: How do you respond (OFF-MIKE) personal vendetta?
SNEDDON: I can tell you it's B.S. But that isn't going to change people's observation. And I think the other way is if you want to check with people who know me, they know better than that. I've got a life. I have things I enjoy doing. I'm not going to focus...
QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) gave to Mr. Jackson to give himself up?
SNEDDON: We're not going to comment on that.
ANDERSON: No, we won't comment on that.
QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) how strong a case you feel you have if you want to characterize it, and how serious are these charges, in your mind, against Mr. Jackson?
SNEDDON: The first one I'm not going to answer because we never answer that. The second one -- I don't even remember the second part of it.
ANDERSON: We wouldn't be here if we weren't serious about it.
QUESTION: As a man who has spent his life (OFF-MIKE) around kids, you have -- two part question. A, on a personal level, how do child molestation charges and people who do that make you feel (OFF- MIKE)? And, B, what would you tell those kids that you coach now, when they ask about this situation?
SNEDDON: Well, how do I feel? It isn't just people I've been around, and coached and families I've known and things like that. I think it's a devastating thing to a child this age. And I'm not talking about this case, I'm talking about any case.
You know there's an assumption that this is the only child molestation case we have. We handle cases like this all the time. It's a tragedy for the families involved and the victims involved, generically.
So there's nothing different about that. And what I tell them is the same thing I would tell them if it was one of my own kids.
QUESTION: Is the investigative work basically completed, or is there a possibility we may see other search warrants executed?
ANDERSON: It's no completed at this point. It's an ongoing investigation. We're following up information in as we speak.
QUESTION: What about a search warrant? Is there a possibility?
ANDERSON: There's always the possibility.
QUESTION: Sir, how long could Mr. Jackson go to jail for in total?
ANDERSON: Well it depends whether or not he's convicted, No. 1. And, No. 2, whether he's convicted of and how many counts, and, you know, all those things have to be factored in. It can go anywhere from three to eight years, I think.
QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) case like this with a $3 million bail? Is that higher than normal or -- how does it compare?
SNEDDON: I would have to say that it's way up there. And -- but not unprecedented.
QUESTION: How did you come up...
SNEDDON: I'm getting there. Patience.
And I that think you have to of setting bail is not simply a district attorney's request, it's the function of the judge, and how the judge feels comfortable with the individual involved and the charges involved because the judge is familiar with the allegations, having read the affidavit in support of the arrest and search warrants.
As you know, some of you, we had a case down in Ventura where somebody posted a million dollar bail and took off. And they found him down in Mexico after a long search. So I think with that and other situations, I think that was factored into the decision to set it at 3 million.
QUESTION: A two-part question. What exactly did you find at the estate? Can you just go back...
SNEDDON: I think we're getting time to leave.
QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) case, that you think was strong evidence. But also this law you talk about that changed if you could talk a little bit more about that.
ANDERSON: We're not going to comment on the specifics of the case, or what we found at the ranch. And the law has changed so that the victim will be required to testify, even if there were a civil settlement of some -- of some case. There is no civil case at this point in time.
QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) for Jackson's incarceration.
ANDERSON: I'm sorry?
QUESTION: Have you made arrangements for Jackson's incarceration?
ANDERSON: Not at this point, no. QUESTION: Last time you used the grand jury for investigative purposes. Will you be convening the grand jury for anything this time, perhaps for an indictment?
SNEDDON: Gosh, it took a long time for somebody to get around to that one.
SNEDDON: Well, we haven't ruled anything out.
QUESTION: One more question -- was -- (OFF-MIKE) but do you anticipate charging anybody connected to the child -- perhaps e guardian, parent who may have known something was going on?
SNEDDON: We're not going to get involved in discussing anything about the case.
QUESTION: Is it just one victim?
SNEDDON: We won't answer that either.
QUESTION: Where is the press release you keep referring to that you're going to be passing out?
ANDERSON: Our press information officer, Chris Pappas (ph), has that information. He's here in the room somewhere. So we'll get that to you.
QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) booking photo, when you do the actual booking?
ANDERSON: Yes, that has been our past practice. So if and when that occurs, we will make that photograph available.
QUESTION: I want to make sure this is correct. Would it be fair to say based on what you said before that you have not ruled out charging other people? Is that a fair statement?
ANDERSON: Yes. Anything is possible.
SNEDDON: Are you aware of other civil cases that have been handled outside of the media since 1993 that were kept quiet?
ANDERSON: Not to my knowledge.
SNEDDON: Well, I am.
QUESTION: How many?
SNEDDON: Ask Diane, she knows everything about Michael Jackson.
QUESTION: How are you aware of those?
SNEDDON: I read the papers once in a while.
SNEDDON: Probably different than yours when you were in there.
QUESTION: I'm just curious if the parents of the current accuser were aware of the allegations against Michael Jackson ten years ago.
SNEDDON: What did she say?
QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) the parents of the current accuser, if they were aware -- not the charges, but the allegation against Michael ten years ago?
SNEDDON: I really couldn't tell you.
ANDERSON: I couldn't tell you either. I don't know. Last question.
QUESTION: What do you say to parents who let their children go to Neverland Ranch on sleepovers? What is your...
ANDERSON: My advice is don't do it.
SNEDDON: None of our kids were there. Thank you very much.
ANDERSON: Thank you.
PHILLIPS: Pop star Michael Jackson, turn yourself in. That's according to the Santa Barbara D.A. and the sheriff there, within a bit of the humor with the reporters. Definitely, the charges are not humorous. Child molestation, multiple counts, an arrest warrant now been issued, $3 million bail.
Our Frank Buckley was inside the news conference there. When all the charges went down. This is how it happened.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: The service of the warrants was part of an ongoing investigation alleging criminal misconduct on the part of Michael Jackson. The basis for this investigation regarding Mr. Jackson involves allegations of child molestation 288-A of the California penal code. Additionally, an arrest warrant for Mr. Jackson has been issued on multiple counts of child molestation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PHILLIPS: So where's it go from here? Frank Buckley, covering the details for us -- Frank.
FRANK BUCKLEY, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Let's go through point by point, Kyra, and talk about what is significant -- was announced here today.
The authorities have finally confirmed that yes, they are actively pursuing this arrest warrant, as they put it. They're also giving Michael Jackson time -- and they didn't specify the period of time -- but they're giving him time to turn himself in.
So while they're actively seeking this and trying to execute it, an arrest warrant, they're letting him turn himself in during some unspecified period time.
They're saying that once he is in custody -- and they say they're confident he will eventually be in custody, he will be asked to surrender his passport. That's pretty standard procedure. And that they're going to be seeking a $3 million bail on Mr. Jackson.
Tom Sneddon said he wanted to respond to people who he called apologists for Jackson, talking -- and he was referring back to the 1993 case involving the then 13-year-old boy who became 14 by the time civil settlement was reached.
He was saying that this is a very different case from that '93, '94 in the sense that the law has changed. You'll recall in that case the boy didn't want to testify. That's why they didn't move forward with the criminal prosecution. In this case, the boy will have to testify if, in fact it gets to the criminal prosecution stage. There were no charges in 1993. This time, they are intending to bring charges.
And they said -- obviously, a huge civil case back in 1994 that was settled. Michael Jackson maintaining his innocence throughout this. But this time, they say there is no civil suit and they're anticipating a civil suit.
And, finally, they say in this case, Kyra, there is a cooperative victim -- Kyra.
PHILLIPS: All right, Frank Buckley, we'll continue to check if with you as the story develops.
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