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Ex-Vegas headliner gets lengthy prison term in child porn case

Posted: 7:30 PM, Feb 28, 2019
Updated: 2019-03-01 03:40:41Z
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LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Former Las Vegas illusionist Jan Rouven Fuechtener was sentenced Thursday to 240 months in federal prison and ordered to pay a hefty fine.

Fuechtener pleaded guilty back in 2016 to possession, receipt, and distribution of more than 9,000 images and videos of child pornography.

RELATED: Former Las Vegas illusionist pleads guilty to child porn charges

His sentencing also included a $500,000 fine, announced U.S. Attorney Nicholas A. Trutanich for the District of Nevada and Special Agent in Charge Aaron Rouse for the FBI’s Las Vegas Field Office.

Due to the conviction, Fuechtener will be deported from the United States after serving his sentence and barred from returning for any purpose.

“Today’s sentencing is another example of law enforcement’s steadfast commitment to this office’s Project Safe Childhood initiative,” said U.S. Attorney Trutanich. “Federal law enforcement, along with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, will aggressively investigate and prosecute those that exploit children. The lengthy prison sentence imposed vindicates the victims of this defendant’s crimes and sends the message that justice was done.”

Fuechtener, 41 and a citizen of Germany, used an online alias of Lars Schmidt. He pleaded guilty during his bench trial for the criminal charges.

Instead of proceeding with sentencing, he filed a motion to withdraw his guilty plea in June of 2017.

Throughout a five-day evidentiary hearing, Fuechtener’s former attorneys testified that they had advised him of details of the plea agreement, including potential penalties and consequences of the plea.

At the hearing, Fuechtener personally testified and called a fellow inmate, who is also charged with child pornography offenses, to testify on his behalf.

The Court believed the testimony of Fuechtener’s former attorneys and denied the motion to withdraw on June 15, 2018.

In his plea agreement, Fuechtener admitted that he shared numerous child pornography files on a peer-to-peer file sharing program.

“We have no greater duty than to protect the most vulnerable among us, and the men and women of the FBI will continue to pursue those who seek to harm our children relentlessly,” said Special Agent in Charge Rouse. “Every time child pornography is viewed on the internet a child is revictimized.”

The FBI conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Elham Roohani and Lisa Cartier-Giroux prosecuted the case.

To report an incident involving the possession, distribution, receipt, or production of child pornography, contact the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.