German illusionist pleads guilty in Las Vegas child porn case

November 17, 2016 8:37 PM EST

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(Reuters) - A German illusionist who performs on the Las Vegas Strip pleaded guilty on Thursday to possession and distribution of child pornography stemming from a raid on his home that turned up more than 9,000 sexually explicit videos, federal prosecutors said.

Jan Rouven Fuechtener, 39, who performs under the name Jan Rouven, entered the plea as part of an agreement with prosecutors that came in the midst of his bench trial in U.S. District Court in Las Vegas, which began on Monday.

"The risk to our children from sexual predators is constant and continuing,” U.S. Attorney Daniel Bogden said in a statement after the plea.

Fuechtener, who according to prosecutors is also known as Jan Schmidt, was indicted in March following an Federal Bureau of Investigation operation in which he gave an undercover agent access to files containing child pornography.

During a January search of Fuechtener's home in Las Vega, law enforcement agents seized 38 devices with a total of 9,000 videos depicting children engaging in sexually explicit conduct, prosecutors say.

Following his indictment and arrest in March the Tropicana hotel and resort in Las Vegas permanently canceled his show, "New Illusions" and severed ties with the illusionist.

Fuechtener pleaded guilty to one count each of possession, receiving and distribution of child pornography and faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for each count when he is sentenced in March, although federal sentencing guidelines often call for less time.

As part of his plea deal, prosecutors agreed to dismiss a fourth count of advertising child pornography.

(Reporting by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)



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