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Tuesday, 28 January, 2003, 10:25 GMT
Actor defended over 'historical erotica'
Paul Reubens
Reubens was arrested in November 2001
The lawyer for Pee-wee Herman actor Paul Reubens has argued the star should not face trial for child porn charges because his material is historical.

Attorney Blair Berk said some of the material was from the early years of the 20th century, in a motion filed to a Los Angeles court on Friday.

She also said the images and film Reubens is facing charges for were made decades before California's child pornography law was enacted in 1989.

The 50-year-old actor was arrested in November 2001 and charged with possessing materials depicting children engaged in sexual conduct.

The charge carries a maximum penalty of a year in jail and $2,500 (1,558) fine. Ms Berk's motion said Mr Reubens' collection was "a vast and valuable historical collection of artwork, kitsch memorabilia and adult erotica".

The motion argues the law is unconstitutionally broad and that its statute of limitations ended before Mr Reubens' charges were brought to court.

It also said that police had found more than 30,000 pictures and 650 hours of film when they searched Mr Reubens' house in November 2001.
Paul Reubens
Mr Reubens was arrested in 2001

Authorities had found offending images in one book, 25 magazines and one film, the motion said.

Ms Berk complained to court commissioner Kristi Lousteau last year the Los Angeles attorney's office had not turned over its evidence to the defence.

Year-long investigation

But deputy city attorney Richard Katz replied that prosecutors were not required to do so until after the hearing.

The prosecution did turn over documents to the defence once the hearing had finished, but neither side disclosed its contents.

Mr Reubens arrest came as part a year-long investigation into child pornography.

Ferris Bueller's Day Off actor Jeffrey Jones was also arrested as part of the investigation and charged with hiring a 14-year-old boy to pose for sexually explicit photos, and with possession of child pornography.

See also:

22 Nov 02 | Entertainment
16 Nov 02 | Entertainment
08 Aug 01 | Americas
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