By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated December 19, 2002 01:00 PM
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Paul Reubens, best known as comic character Pee-wee Herman, pleaded not guilty Wednesday to a not-very-funny misdemeanor charge of possessing child pornography, according to published reports.

Reubens, 50, who is free on $20,000 bail, entered the plea through his attorney, Blair Berk, who said she would seek to have the charge thrown out at a pretrial hearing Jan. 3.

Reubens’s misdemeanor charge stems from a search of his Los Angeles home in November 2001, when police “uncovered materials that we believe depict minors engaged in sexual activity,” the City Attorney’s spokesman tells Reuters. The charge carries a maximum penalty of one year in county jail and a $2,500 fine.

Berk also complained to court Commissioner Kristi Lousteau that the City Attorney’s office had not turned over its evidence to the defense.

“From the day the search warrant was executed I have requested of the Los Angeles Police Department and any prosecuting authority to inform the defense the basis on which the people are proceeding this case,” Berk said.

According to CBS News, Deputy City Attorney Richard Katz countered that it was not mandatory for prosecutors to do so until after the arraignment. The prosecution reportedly did turn over documents to the defense after the arraignment, but neither side disclosed the contents.

Reubens was arrested along with former “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” costar Jeffrey Jones, who pleaded innocent last month to possessing child pornography and a felony count of using a minor for sex acts for allegedly hiring a 14-year-old boy to pose for photos.

As for Reubens, the actor pleaded no contest in 1991 to an indecent exposure charge after his arrest in Sarasota, Fla., for allegedly exposing himself in a movie theater. He has been working to resurrect his career ever since.