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Pee Wee Herman actor charged

reubens
Actor Paul Reubens

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CNN's Anne McDermott reports arrests of actors Paul Ruebens and Jeffrey Jones were part of the same investigation. (November 16)
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LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- Actor Paul Reubens was charged Friday with one misdemeanor count of possessing material depicting children engaged in sexual conduct, a spokesman for the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office said.

Reubens' attorney, Blair Berk, said the charge, which stems from artwork seized from Reubens' Hollywood Hills home last year, "is simply untrue and without merit."

"Mr. Reubens has never at any time knowingly possessed any artwork from his extensive vintage and antique art collection even remotely related to anything improper," Berk said in a statement. "When all the facts come out, it will be clear he did not commit any crime."

Reubens, best known for his character Pee Wee Herman, turned himself in late Friday afternoon at an undisclosed Los Angeles Police Department facility, and bail was set at $20,000, police said. If convicted, he could face up to a year in jail and a fine of $2,500, said Matt Littman, a spokesman for the city attorney.

He said Reubens is being charged with "possession of material depicting children under the ages of 18 engaging in sexual conduct as defined under California law."

A publicist for the actor described the material in question as photographs.

Berk said the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office found no grounds for bringing any charges after authorities seized artwork from his home last year. In Los Angeles, the district attorney handles felony charges, while the city attorney handles misdemeanor cases.

Berk said the city attorney's office is now resuscitating a misdemeanor charge "on the very last day" that the statute would allow.

The district attorney's office referred all questions on the matter to the city attorney.

In 1991, Reubens pleaded no contest to charges of indecent exposure after being arrested at a Florida adult movie theater where authorities said he was masturbating.

Jones faces child sex charges

In another case officials said stemmed from the same investigation, Jeffrey Jones, an actor and acquaintance of Reubens, was charged with one felony count of employing a minor for purposes of taking sexually explicit photos and a misdemeanor count of possessing child pornography, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office. (Full story)

The charges against Jones, 56, best known as the high school principal in the movie "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," carry up to three years in prison, and he would have to register as a sex offender for life, according to the district attorney's office. Jones was also released on $20,000 bail, and his arraignment was scheduled for November 21.

According to the district attorney's office, the investigation of Jones began "about a year ago," but prosecutors did not say what prompted the probe.

The charges against Jones do not involve any sex act being performed or any video or film being taken, according to a statement from the district attorney's office. He stands accused of hiring a 14-year-old boy to pose for photographs, the statement said.

-- CNN Correspondent Charles Feldman contributed to this report.



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