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Actor Paul Reubens Pleads Guilty to Obscenity Charge

The 'Pee-wee Herman' television star is fined and put on three years' informal probation.

March 20, 2004|Christiana Sciaudone | Times Staff Writer

Actor Paul Reubens, best known for his role as "Pee-wee Herman," pleaded guilty Friday to a misdemeanor obscenity charge and was placed on probation, court officials said.

Both sides claimed victory in the plea bargain, in which prosecutors dropped more serious charges of child pornography against Reubens, 51. His plea was entered in court by his lawyer, Blair Berk.

"This is considered an absolute victory," Berk said.

City Atty. Rocky Delgadillo also counted the case as a triumph.

"The Reubens' conviction points out that the sexual exploitation of children will not be tolerated," he said in a statement.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Carol H. Rehm Jr. sentenced Reubens to a $100 fine and three years' informal probation. Rehm ordered Reubens to register with police as a result of the conviction, said Eric Moses, a spokesman for Delgadillo.

Reubens pleaded guilty to possession of obscene material, consisting of minors engaged in sexual conduct, prosecutors said.

Berk said Delgadillo had misrepresented Reuben's collection, saying it was art, not pornography.

"What was so offensive was the art was portrayed as dirty pictures of little kids," he said.

The antique images include nude pictures of youthful people, but not of young children, Berk said. The determination of whether the subjects were older or younger than 18 was never resolved, he said.

Police raided Reubens' Hollywood Hills home in 2001 and seized 30,000 items, Berk said.

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