By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated July 06, 2001 10:02 AM
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Actor Robert Iler, 16, has issued a statement regarding his arrest on the 4th of July and subsequent reports that he and the friends who were arrested with him joked in their jail cell and had appeared anything but contrite. Iler, who plays the mischievous son of mob boss Tony Soprano on the hit HBO series “The Sopranos,” and three friends allegedly robbed two 16-year-old Brazilian boys outside a deli on Manhattan’s Upper East Side early on Wednesday morning. They were arrested nearby when the victims pointed them out to police after allegedly spotting them sitting on a park bench. Claiming his innocence, Iler, who has been charged with robbery and unlawful possession of marijuana, said the following via his publicist: “I feel terribly embarrassed. I never ever would or did rob anyone in my life. I know that the events of the past two days have been extremely difficult for my family and friends and for that I am sorry.” According to the criminal complaint obtained by Reuters, Iler and his friends threatened their victims, saying: “Give us your money. Do you wanna die? Do you wanna die?” Iler’s attorney said his client never saw the alleged robbery or heard any demand for money. Iler could face a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison if convicted on the top count of robbery. He was released on $2,500 bail after pleading not guilty at his arraignment. A hearing has been set for July 9.