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Ex-Las Vegas Strip headliner loses bid to undo federal porn plea

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Magician Jan Rouven presented the Floating Virgin during the dress rehearsal, in March 2007, of a German TV show in Riesa, eastern Germany. A federal judge rejected the former Las Vegas Strip headliner’s bid to withdraw his guilty plea in a pornography case involving thousands of videos and images, including some depicting kindergarten-age boys in sex acts.

LAS VEGAS >> A former Las Vegas Strip headliner from Germany lost his bid to withdraw his guilty plea in a federal child pornography case involving thousands of videos and images.

Jan Rouven Fuechtener, 39, is expected to face at least 24 years in federal prison on felony charges of possession, receipt and distribution of child pornography, according court records. His sentencing is set for Aug. 2.

Fuechtener is a German citizen who performed as Jan Rouven at the Tropicana hotel-casino. His show closed following his arrest in March 2016. He remains in federal custody.

His plea in November 2016 stopped his trial during an FBI agent’s testimony about images found in password-protected files on computer devices seized from the Las Vegas home Fuechtener shared with his husband, Frank Dietmar Alfter.

Authorities say some of the images depicted sex acts involving kindergarten-age boys.

Fuechtener’s lawyer, Karen Connolly, was unavailable today to immediately comment on the June 15 ruling by Chief U.S. District Court Judge Gloria Navarro involving the guilty plea.

Connolly previously said federal authorities have recommended Fuechtener serve 24 to 30 years in federal prison and possibly a life sentence.

Fuechtener also faces lifetime registration as a sex offender, near-certain deportation if he gets out of prison, and an order to pay $5,000 restitution to each child sex assault victim identified in his case.

Authorities have said they could identify about 85 victims. That would total some $425,000.

The case arose after Fuechtener was identified in August 2014 by an undercover investigator in Buffalo, New York, as a collector of more than 3,500 internet pornographic videos and images using internet, Skype and email names including “Lars45,” ”LarsUSA22” and Lars Schmidt.

Fuechtener last year accused his lawyers of misleading him about the consequences of his plea.

He alleged he was never told that years could be added to his sentence based on the number of images found, his acknowledgement that he shared pornography, and evidence that he tried to destroy computer files.

Navarro held several days of hearings this year to take testimony from former lawyers for Fuechtener and Alfter, who was named in the case as an unindicted co-conspirator. Officials have said Alfter no longer lives in the U.S.

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