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Puppeteer claims innocence in child porn case, lawyer says

The Tampa Tribune
Published:   |   Updated: March 18, 2013 at 09:46 PM
TAMPA -

An acting attorney for a local puppeteer who faces federal charges of conspiring to kidnap a child and possession of child pornography said the suspect says he didn't do it.

"It is his contention right now that he didn't do this, that he's not involved with this," said Eric Kuske, who may represent Ron Brown, the Largo man charged by the federal government.

Federal Magistrate Thomas Wilson granted a continuance in a bond hearing Tuesday for Brown. Kuske said the hearing could be next week.

Kuske helped represent Brown in court on Tuesday but said he hasn't yet decided whether to accept the case.

Brown, 57, of Largo, was arrested Friday as part of an international investigation conducted by Homeland Security agents.

He's accused of having images of child pornography, children in bondage and children who appear deceased. The images were on his computer and on a CD found in his sock drawer.

He also had conversations with another man about strangling and eating children, according to the criminal complaint affidavit.

Brown, who started his puppet business in 1992, was listed in the Pinellas County School District's speaker directory as a puppetry speaker for grades K-8. Since his arrest, the school district has removed his name.

Brown has performed at schools, church, birthday parties and community centers.


jpatino@tampatrib.com (813) 259-7659

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