Bieber has vehemently denied the allegations made by 20-year-old Mariah Yeater that the "Baby" singer is the father of her now 3-month-old child. Yeater has filed a paternity suit against Bieber, claiming that the boy was born after the two had unprotected sex backstage after one of the singer's shows in Los Angeles last year. Now, according to The Associated Press, Los Angeles Police Commander Andrew Smith said on Thursday that his department may investigate Yeater because if her story is true, she could be subject to statutory rape charges since Bieber was a 16-year-old minor at the time of the incident.
According to California law, someone who has unlawful sex with a person who is under 18 years of age and is not more than three years older than that person is guilty of a misdemeanor, which carries up to a one-year jail sentence.
Though he's made a number of press appearances this week to promote his new Christmas album, Under the Mistletoe, Bieber had not publicly commented on the allegations until Friday (November 4) when he appeared on the "Today" show.
"I'd just like to say basically that none of those allegations are true," he told Matt Lauer. "I know I'm going to be a target, but I'm never going to be a victim." Bieber explained on "Today" that the logistics of her claim don't fit with his hectic schedule. "I think it's crazy because every night after the show I've gone right from the stage right to my car," he said. "So it's crazy that some people want to make up some false allegations, but to set the record straight none of it is true. Never met the woman."
Earlier in the week, Bieber took to Twitter to say he was not getting caught up in the drama. "So I'm going to ignore the rumors ... and focus on what is real," he wrote, without mentioning the specific issue. "An opportunity to help by doing what I love. Judge me on the music! Love y'all!"
On Tuesday, Bieber's publicist commented on the lawsuit in a statement, saying, "While we haven't yet seen the lawsuit, it's sad that someone would fabricate malicious, defamatory and demonstrably false claims. We will vigorously pursue all available legal remedies to defend and protect Justin against these allegations."
No crime has been reported as of yet in the alleged tryst, but Smith said, "If it's brought to our attention, of course we'll look into it." Yeater, who had just turned 19 at the time of the alleged incident, claims in the paternity suit that she had a brief sexual encounter with Bieber in a backstage bathroom at Los Angeles' Staples Center and that she believes the teen star is the father because there were no other men she had sex with at that time. A hearing is scheduled for December 15 in the paternity case, in which she is asking for child support and for Bieber to take a paternity test to determine if the baby is his.
"The issue of statutory rape, even if she's guilty, hypothetically, that has no bearing on the duties to provide child support," said Matthew Pare, one of Yeater's lawyers. "It's a totally separate issue." As of press time, Pare said he had not been contacted by authorities over the rape issue, or by Bieber's camp.
Bieber, now 17, has been dating 19-year-old actress/singer Selena Gomez since late 2010, a couple of months after the alleged incident with Yeater took place.