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Ex-Strip illusionist pleads not guilty to child porn charges

Former Strip illusionist Jan Rouven pleaded not guilty in federal court Wednesday to four child pornography charges.

Rouven, 38, the former star of the “The New Illusions” show at the Tropicana, was charged under his full name, Jan Rouven Fuechtener, with possession of child pornography, receipt of child pornography, distribution of child pornography and advertising of child pornography.

He is being held in federal custody without bail and has a hearing April 19 before Chief U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro on a motion by defense lawyer Jess Marchese seeking his release.

When U.S. Magistrate Judge Bill Hoffman asked Rouven Wednesday how he wanted to plead to the charges, Rouven simply said, “not guilty.”

Hoffman set a June 6 trial date for the German-born Rouven, who appeared in court in chains and jail garb.

Afterward, Marchese said he plans a rigorous defense.

“We’re looking forward to trial,” he said. “We’re locked and loaded.”

Rouven added a second veteran lawyer to his defense team, Michael Sanft, who also was in court.

The Tropicana dropped Rouven’s show and severed ties with him in March after the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that he was arrested by FBI agents. The case attracted international media attention, primarily in Germany.

Rouven had been a headliner at the Tropicana since November 2014.

Last month, federal prosecutors alleged graphic images of child pornography involving young children were found at Rouven’s Las Vegas home during a court-approved FBI search.

According to a criminal complaint, the investigation of Rouven began in August when an undercover FBI agent from Buffalo, New York, infiltrated an Internet file-sharing group dealing in child pornography.

Some of the files linked to Rouven, who used the alias Lars Schmidt, had videos of young boys engaging in sex with men, the complaint alleges.

In January, FBI agents seized computers and an external hard drive from Rouven’s home. An analysis of the hard drive found 3,235 videos and 105 images depicting child pornography, the complaint alleges.

Contact Jeff German at jgerman@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-8135. Find @JGermanRJ on Twitter.

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