Pee-Wee and Pal Face Child Porn Charge

updated 11/18/2002 at 01:00 AM EST

originally published 11/18/2002 11:00AM

It was a lousy weekend for actors Paul Reubens and Jeffrey Jones, as both were charged in Los Angeles on Friday in allegedly related child pornography cases.

Reubens, 50, best known as the sly but innocent comic character Pee-Wee Herman (and nearly saw his career ruined by a lewd conduct charge in 1991) now faces a misdemeanor count of possessing child pornography stemming from a search of his home by police a year ago, a spokesman for the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office tells Reuters.

Jones, 55, said to be an acquaintance of Reubens, played Emperor Josef II in 1984's Oscar-winning Best Picture "Amadeus" -- though is probably best known for playing Matthew Broderick's fascistic school principal in the 1986 film "Ferris Bueller's Day Off."

Jones faces a felony charge of using a minor for sex acts and a misdemeanor charge of possession of child pornography related to allegations that he hired a 14-year-old boy to pose for sexually explicit photographs between September 2000 and May of last year, according to Los Angeles District Attorney spokeswoman Sandi Gibbons.

No sexual act in front of the camera was involved, she added.

While prosecutors declined to specify how the two cases are linked, a spokeswoman for Reubens tells Reuters that the investigations stemmed from accusations that a teenager made against both men.

Reubens's lawyer, Blair Berk, called the charges against her client -- which could carry a maximum penalty of a year in jail and $2,500 fine -- untrue. In recent years, Reubens finally seemed to have overcome his 1991 arrest outside a Florida adult theater for allegedly masturbating in public.

Jones's attorney, Jeff Brodey, tells the Los Angeles Times that the police claims against the actor are "all about photos. There's not allegations of any touching or any improper acts with a minor."

He added that Jones "is a very decent guy, and his life shouldn't be ruined."

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