Michael Jackson’s former home could become a sex-assault rehabilitation facility for children, it has emerged.
New York Post’s Page Six reports that Neverland Ranch has several potential buyers proposing new uses for the 2,700-acre property.
One of the bids comes from a local businessman who plans to turn it into a centre for abused youngsters despite the fact that Jacko was dogged by rumors of child molestation for years before his death.
While two bidders hope the ranch will be converted into an attraction to celebrate the musician, one local businessman is offering $40 million for the property to become a rehab centre.
A source revealed: ‘His goal is for the place to be used to help children in a serene setting recover from the trauma of sex abuse.
‘The plan is to have children come there for treatment, and they will also hire trained therapists who would help the victims through the use of equine-assisted therapy, which works to improve the kids’ self-esteem, and it helps them to become more outgoing.’
However, if the development was to be approved it would likely raise a few eyebrows.
In 2005 the Bad singer stood trial in Santa Maria, California accused of molestation charges against 13-year-old Gavin Arvizo.
Police searched the property and Jackson moved out shortly afterwards because he felt the 70 police officers had ‘violated’ his home.
He was later indicted on for four counts of molesting a minor, four counts of intoxicating a minor in order to molest him, one count of attempted child molestation, and one count of conspiring to hold the boy and his family captive at Neverland.
After a 14 week trial, a jury found him not guilty on all charges.
Jackson – who died away at the age of 50 from a cardiac arrest in June 2009 – purchased the ranch in 1988 and converted it to include an amusement park, a two-story arcade, candy stores, a movie theatre and a zoo.
However, Neverland was seized by real-estate investor Thomas Barrack in 2008 due to the superstar’s escalating debts, with hopes it could sell for $75 million.