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Ex-Las Vegas Strip illusionist indicted on child porn charges

Former Strip illusionist Jan Rouven was indicted by a federal grand jury Wednesday on four child pornography charges.

Rouven, 38, the former star of the “The New Illusions” show at the Tropicana, was charged under his full name, Jan Rouven Fuechtener, with possession of child pornography, receipt of child pornography, distribution of child pornography and advertising of child pornography.

He is to be arraigned on the felony charges in federal court on April 6 and faces heavy prison time if convicted.

Federal prosecutors are seeking to force Rouven, who used the alias Lars Schmidt, to forfeit an array of computers, cellphones, hard drives and other electronic equipment.

“We are not surprised that the government added charges in the indictment, as this is a typical government tactic,” defense lawyer Jess Marchese said. “We fully intend upon going to trial and showing that these accusations are unfounded.

“Jan looks forward to that day so that he can put this matter behind him and get back on the performing stage.”

The Tropicana dropped Rouven’s show and severed ties with him earlier this month after the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that he was arrested by FBI agents. He is being held without bail, but Marchese is pushing for his release.

Rouven, born in Germany, worked his way up to the middle tier of the Las Vegas show business ladder. He debuted at the old Clarion, moved to a small showroom at the Riviera and moved again to the Tropicana’s main theater, where he had been a headliner since November 2014.

In court this month, federal prosecutors alleged graphic images of child pornography involving young children were found at Rouven’s Las Vegas home during a court-approved FBI search.

According to a criminal complaint, the investigation of Rouven began in August when an undercover FBI agent from Buffalo, New York, infiltrated an Internet file-sharing group dealing in child pornography.

Some of the files linked to Rouven had videos of young boys engaging in sex with men, the complaint alleges.

In January, FBI agents seized computers and an external hard drive from Rouven’s home. An analysis of the hard drive found 3,235 videos and 105 images depicting child pornography, the complaint alleges.

Contact Jeff German at jgerman@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-8135. Find @JGermanRJ on Twitter.

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