Saturday, November 16, 2002
Los Angeles Actor Paul Reubens, best known as Pee-wee Herman, and actor Jeffrey Jones of "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" were charged Friday in a year-old child pornography investigation.
Jones, 56, best known as the high school principal in "Ferris Bueller," was charged with hiring a 14-year-old boy to pose for sexually explicit photos and possessing child pornography, authorities said.
"The charges do not involve any sex act being performed or any video or film being taken," said Sandi Gibbons, spokeswoman for the district attorney's office.
Jones' attorney, Jeffrey Brodey, told the Los Angeles Times that the charges are "all about photos. There's no allegations of any touching or any improper acts with a minor." Brodey did not immediately return a phone call Friday.
Reubens was charged with one misdemeanor count of possessing materials depicting children under 18 engaged in sexual conduct, said Ana Garcia, a spokeswoman for the city attorney's office.
Reubens' attorney, Blair Berk, said in a statement that the charge was untrue. "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," he said.
Jones surrendered to police Thursday and was freed on $20,000 bail; he is scheduled to be arraigned next week. If convicted, he faces three years in prison and will have to register as a sex offender for life, Gibbons said.
The District Attorney's Office determined there was no evidence of a felony in Reubens' case and referred it to the City Attorney's office for possible prosecution as a misdemeanor, she said.
Reubens, 50, surrendered to police Friday and was released after posting $20,000 bail. He will be arraigned Dec. 19 and faces a maximum of one year in county jail and a $2,500 fine.
In 1991, Reubens pleaded no contest to an indecent exposure charge after being arrested in a Sarasota, Fla., movie theater. After that, his children's show was canceled and his star faded, but he has played supporting roles in the films "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Blow."
A widely recognized character actor, Jones played the music-loving Emperor Joseph II in "Amadeus," the mentalist Criswell in "Ed Wood" and the father in "Beetlejuice."
Authorities searched the homes of both men Nov. 16, 2001, the district attorney and city attorney said. The statute of limitations on the misdemeanors would have run out today if charges had not been filed.
Materials taken from Reubens were unrelated to the Jones case, said Jane Robison, a spokeswoman in the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office. Reubens and Jones are acquaintances and both cases stem from the same investigation, said Sandi Gibbons, a spokeswoman for the District Attorney's Office.