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Thursday, 30 August, 2001, 12:36 GMT 13:36 UK
Sopranos 'robbery' actor pleads not guilty
Robert Iler
Iler was arrested in New York on 3 July
Robert Iler, an actor in the hit TV series The Sopranos, pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to charges that he and two friends robbed two tourists in New York.

If convicted of second-degree robbery, each defendant could face 15 years in prison.

After Iler's plea of not guilty, prosecutors released a police report alleging that the actor bragged and cursed after his arrest.

"Don't you worry about me - I'm a millionaire," Iler allegedly said to a police officer after swearing at him.

The Sopranos
The actor plays mobster Tony Soprano's son
A spokesman for Iler said that District Attorney Robert Morgenthau was trying to embarrass the actor by releasing the police reports.

"The DA is conducting an unattractive media campaign against Robert Iler because of his celebrity status," said spokesman Dan Klores.

Iler's defence lawyer, Robert Morvillo, said: "We anticipate that when a jury and the public hears all of the facts, that my client will be deemed not to have done anything wrong."

Iler, 16, Michael Cournede, 19, and Alban Selimaj, 16, were all charged in the state supreme court in Manhattan with the robbery of two teenage tourists of $40 (27) on Manhattan's Upper East Side district on the night of 3 July.

Marijuana

The defendants were later arrested sitting on a nearby park bench, after the victims pointed them out to police.

Iler also faces a possible $100 (70) fine for marijuana possession, while Cournede has been charged with possession of a box-cutter knife.

Iler, who is currently free on $2,500 (1,720) bail said in a statement released after the incident, that he was "terribly embarrassed" by the arrest and regretted putting his family and friends through an "extremely difficult" time.

Iler's next court appearance is set for 5 October.

See also:

06 Apr 01 | TV and Radio
Sopranos sued by Italian group
29 Aug 01 | TV and Radio
Judge hears case against Sopranos
29 Aug 01 | TV and Radio
Sopranos hit back at 'racist' claim
03 Nov 00 | Entertainment
Sopranos in campus row
05 Jul 01 | Showbiz
Sopranos actor arrested
24 Jul 00 | Entertainment
Crowds mob Sopranos auditions
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