Kid Porn Charges Vs. 'Pee-wee Herman'

Serena Williams of the United States celebrates after beating Flavia Pennetta of Italy 6-4, 6-3 during the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York, Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2009. AP Photo/Charles Krupa

A year-old pornography investigation has led to the filing of criminal charges against two Hollywood actors: Paul Reubens, best known as Pee-wee Herman, and veteran character actor Jeffrey Jones of "Ferris Bueller's Day Off."

Reubens was charged with one misdemeanor count of possessing materials depicting children under the age of 18 engaged in sexual conduct, said Ana Garcia, a spokeswoman with the City Attorney's office. He surrendered to authorities Friday and was released on $20,000 bail.

Jones, who played the uptight principal and comic foil to Matthew Broderick in "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," was charged with hiring a 14-year-old boy to pose for sexually explicit photos - a felony - as well as misdemeanor possession of child pornography. He was freed on $20,000 bond after surrendering Thursday.

Reubens, 50, and Jones, 56, are acquaintances and both cases stem from the same police investigation, said Los Angeles County District Attorney spokeswoman Sandi Gibbons.

"Los Angeles Police Department brought us both cases at the same time in connection with an investigation," Gibbons said Friday.

Reubens could face as much as a year in jail and a $2,500 fine if convicted. If Jones is convicted, he faces up to three years in prison and would have to register as a sex offender for life.

"This is all about photos. There's no allegations of any touching or any improper acts with a minor," Jones' attorney, Jeffrey Brodey, told the Los Angeles Times. "This will be resolved very quickly so he can get on with his life and get back to work."

Brodey did not return a call from The Associated Press on Friday.

Reubens' attorney, Blair Berk, dismissed the charge against his client as "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.

Jones is to be arraigned next Thursday. Reubens' arraignment is scheduled for Dec. 19.

Authorities searched the homes of both men on Nov. 16, 2001, according to the offices of the district and city attorneys. The statute of limitations on the misdemeanors would have run out Saturday if charges had not been filed.

Reubens pleaded no contest to an indecent exposure charge in 1991 after he was arrested in Sarasota, Fla., for allegedly exposing himself in a movie theater.

After that plea, Reubens' long-running "Pee-wee Herman Show" was canceled and his star faded, although he has had supporting roles in a number of films since, including "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Blow."

Jones has appeared in dozens of films, including "Amadeus," "Ed Wood" and "Beetlejuice."
  • Brian Dakss

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