LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Pop superstar Michael Jackson (search) was in seclusion Friday, a day after he was arrested and booked in Santa Barbara on suspicion of molesting a young boy.
Jackson returned to a Las Vegas-area hotel-casino Thursday after posting $3 million bail, but his whereabouts Friday couldn't be confirmed.
A spokeswoman for Green Valley Ranch (search) in Henderson, Nev., declined to comment on a report that Jackson was seen leaving the hotel-casino about 4 a.m. Friday.
Later Friday, the 45-year-old singer was believed to be staying out of sight at a spa and hotel outside Las Vegas, where he had been filming a music video when the arrest warrant was served Wednesday.
The general manager of the spa said he couldn't comment on whether the King of Pop was a guest there.
The Jackson family was at the Las Vegas studio of CMX Productions Inc. on Friday, company spokesman Dean DeLorean said. He would not say whether Michael Jackson was among the group.
The previous night Jackson, who has a cult-like following, was seen leaning out of a car window and shaking hands with fans as he drove slowly through the streets of Las Vegas.
An arrest warrant alleges Jackson committed lewd or lascivious acts with a child under 14. Jackson's arraignment was scheduled for Jan. 9. The Santa Barbara district attorney has said he does not plan to file charges until after Thanksgiving.
Meanwhile, well-known attorney Gloria Allred (search) — who has tangled with Jackson in the past — called on child welfare officials to remove his three children from his care while the molestation accusations were pending.
At a news conference Friday, Allred said she has twice asked child-welfare authorities to investigate Jackson.
"I believe the children should be temporarily removed from Mr. Jackson's care and custody because of the history of Michael Jackson with children ... combined with present criminal allegations," she said at a news conference.
Allred cited statements Jackson has made about having sleepovers with children, a previous molestation allegation and an incident in which he dangled his infant son outside the window of a German hotel last year.
In 1993 Allred briefly represented a 13-year-old boy involved in a molestation allegation that never led to criminal charges. The case reportedly ended with Jackson paying a multimillion-dollar civil settlement.
Jackson has three children: 6-year-old Prince Michael I, 5-year-old Paris and a baby, Prince Michael II. Little is known about the youngest child, whose mother has not been identified. Prince Michael I and Paris were born during his marriage to nurse Debbie Rowe, which ended in 1999.
Michael X. Dean, deputy director of Santa Barbara County Social Services, on Thursday declined to say whether there were plans to take Jackson's children into custody, citing confidentiality rules.
Dean said that generally, criminal charges can prompt a child welfare investigation, but he added that such an investigation is not automatic.
The pop singer's well-known celebrity attorney, Mark Geragos (search), who is also representing accused double murderer Scott Peterson (search) in another sensational case, earlier denied the molestation allegations on behalf of his client.
"He is greatly outraged by the bringing of these charges," Geragos said Thursday. "He considers this to be a big lie."
Jackson's spokesman, Stuart Backerman, issued a rhetorical statement: "Lies run sprints, but the truth runs marathons. The truth will win this marathon in court."
Foxnews.com's Roger Friedman broke news that the alleged victim in the latest case is a 12- or 13-year-old cancer survivor who visited Jackson at his Neverland Ranch.
Neverland is the storybook playland where the singer, who has befriended several cancer victims, was known to hold sleepovers for children and share his bed with youngsters.
A lawyer for the father of one young cancer patient told The Associated Press his client's son was invited to a sleepover at the ranch. But his client doesn't know whether his son is the child at the center of the molestation investigation, attorney H. Russell Halpern said.
The father is seeking custody of the boy from his ex-wife.
Halpern reiterated Friday that media reports were "assuming that my client's son is the object of the child molestation case. I can't say for certain he's the boy in the case. ... Other people believe my client's son is the boy, but I can't confirm it."
Jackson, meanwhile, was finding some sympathy among music associates and neighbors.
Quincy Jones, producer of Jackson's landmark "Thriller" album, told the syndicated TV program "Access Hollywood" he was concerned about the media coverage of the case.
"I don't know what to think about it. We are bombarded all day with choices from the Beltway Sniper to Laci Peterson. It never stops, you know, sensationalism in the media," Jones said.
In the town of Los Olivos near Neverland, store owners defended Jackson.
"Around this town people are used to seeing Michael. He's been known to walk up and down the street here," said Sharon Frowiss, manager of Jedlicka's Saddlery Inc., where he recently bought a $229 tricycle.
"When he walked in the door you said, 'Oh my gosh,' but then you keep it to yourself and go about your business," she said.
Jackson turned over his passport when he was booked Thursday. The booking photo, released by authorities and available at http://www.sbsheriff.org, showed a wide-eyed and pale Jackson with bright red lips and arched eyebrows staring into the camera.
Jackson's brother, Jermaine, denounced the allegations in a television interview Thursday night.
"At the end of the day, this is nothing but a modern-day lynching," Jermaine Jackson (search) said. "This is what they want to see: him in handcuffs. You got it. But it won't be for long, I promise you."
As Jackson left jail, his assistants tried to shield him from a phalanx of TV cameras by holding up sheets, but he was visible to helicopter cameras. Groups of people on roadsides waved at his passing motorcade and some ran up to the car whenever it stopped.
In a scene reminiscent of O.J. Simpson's infamous slow-speed chase in a white Ford Bronco, television helicopters followed the motorcade's roundabout, two-hour, 30-mile route to the Green Valley Ranch hotel-casino in Henderson, where Jackson has been staying.
If convicted, Jackson could face three to eight years for a single count of molestation, and two years each for any subsequent count.
Neverland was raided Tuesday morning by Santa Barbara County sheriff's deputies and district attorney's investigators.
The Los Angeles Times on Friday cited criminal defense attorney H. Russell Halpern, who said he had been hired by the boy's father. The father lost custody of his son after pleading no contest in 2002 to one count of domestic violence, the Times said.
Halpern told the Times that his client had no information on the allegations against Jackson, but had said that Jackson met the boy in the cancer ward at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles (search).
The pop singer was visiting sick children and "became particularly interested in my client's son," Halpern said to the Times. The boy and his parents became friends.
"My client thinks he's a good guy, and he was very proud of their friendship," Halpern told the newspaper. He added, however, that the father thinks the boy's mother should not have let the boy stay overnight at Jackson's home.
Sources told Foxnews.com's Friedman that the boy may have told his psychiatrist that the pop singer plied him with wine and sleeping pills before allegedly molesting him.
Friedman also learned that Jackson's legal team had been preparing for months to face the accusations.
Jackson's lawyers plan to question the character of the boy's mother, sources said, and will likely argue that when Jackson tried to end his financial support of the boy and his family, the mother became "a scorned woman."
Fox News' Roger Friedman, Trace Gallagher, Marla Lehner, Paul Wagenseil, Catherine Donaldson-Evans and The Associated Press contributed to this report.