Updated on March 01, 2019, 14:10
German magician Jan Rouven was arrested in March 2016 for possession of child pornography material in the United States. Now the 41-year-old was sentenced to a long prison term.
On stage in Las Vegas, Jan Rouven once triumphed as "The Man with the Seven Lives". But none of his spectacular tricks can help the German magician now.
The 41-year-old illusionist from Kerpen has been sentenced to 20 years in the US for possessing and distributing child pornography.
In addition, the court in Las Vegas on Thursday also imposed a fine in the amount of $ 500,000 (about 440,000 euros), as a spokeswoman for the prosecutor of the German Press Agency announced.
Judge: "The show is over"
"In this courtroom, at least, the show is over," Judge Gloria Navarro said as she announced the sentence, the "Las Vegas Review Journal" reported.
According to the newspaper, Rouven briefly fainted in the courtroom, but then recovered. Only at the age of 60 will the German be released from prison.
At the hearing on Thursday, Rouven apologized for his actions in a short speech, the Las Vegas Review Journal wrote.
Among other things, he stated that he had lost the view of good and evil under the influence of party drugs. Rouven is not a "monster," his lawyer Russell Marsh told the newspaper.
He described him as a "nice guy who did very bad things". The defense had hoped for a lesser penalty of eight years, while the prosecution demanded a good 30 years in prison.
Rouven made a breakthrough in Las Vergas
The magician, who celebrated success in Las Vegas with his show "The New Illusions", was arrested in March 2016.
The accusations weighed heavily. More than 9,000 videos and photos depicting sex with minors, including children, were discovered by investigators at the villa, which Rouven lived in with his husband and manager Frank Alter.
Under cover names such as "Lars45" and "larusa22" he had procured and distributed files, the prosecution in court.
In the lengthy procedure Rouven changed his lawyer several times. He had initially denied the allegations.
Someone else had downloaded the child porn on computers, one of his lawyers said. The German was very hospitable and always had visitors in the house, which would have had easy access to the equipment.
In November 2016, Rouven then surprisingly filed a confession and admitted his guilt in several charges. Later, he requested to revoke his confession.
He was wrongly advised by his former lawyers, Rouven argued. The court rejected this request last year and now set the sentence.
In the footsteps of Siegfried & Roy
Rouven was the first German magician after Siegfried & Roy, who made it to the famous Strip of the Casino City.
He was apparently impaled by huge drills, tied up in a water tank, surrounded by burning circular saws. In 2014, the world's largest magic association IMS named him "Illusionist of the Year".
But "The Man with the Seven Lives" has gambled away in the casino city, even a mild sentence would not have changed it.
His work visa has long since been withdrawn by the Immigration Department. After serving the sentence, he would be deported from the US, said the prosecutor. (Dpa / mwo)
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