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Daniel Heinrich pleads not guilty to child porn charges

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The man named as a "person of interest" in the abduction of Jacob Wetterling pleaded not guilty to child pornography charges Monday.

Daniel Heinrich, 52, faces 25 charges of possessing and receiving child porn after investigators say they found child pornography in dozens of three-ring binders in his Annandale home during a search last summer.

He was taken into custody in October, which is when the U.S. Attorney's Office discussed his possible connection to the Wetterling case – though authorities emphasized he is not a suspect, and he has denied any involvement.

Heinrich pleaded not guilty to the charges in a court hearing Monday that lasted about five minutes, the Star Tribune reports.

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Heinrich has a motions hearing scheduled for April 27, with his trial expected to begin in July 11, Star Tribune reporter Stephen Montemayor tweeted.

The trial is expected to be complex, according to FOX 9, citing the "voluminous amount" of information and ties to other crimes decades ago.

More on Henirich

Heinrich lived in Stearns County in 1989 when Wetterling, who was 11, was abducted from a St. Joseph roadside. In that same year a Cold Spring boy, Jared Scheierl, was kidnapped and sexually assaulted in a case investigators say has similarities to the Wetterling disappearance.

DNA evidence on Scheirel’s clothing has been matched to Heinrich, but the statute of limitations in that case has run out, meaning Heinrich cannot be charged with that crime.

Scheirel, now 39, told WCCO Sunday: “I feel like procrastination on the law enforcement side may have constituted injustice on my side.”

Heinrich has denied any involvement in the kidnappings of Scheirel as well as Wetterling, officials say.

Joe Tamburino, a criminal defense attorney, spoke with FOX 9 about the upcoming trial, saying Heinrich has "zero incentive" to divulge information about Wetterling's disappearance – the federal government "can't make a deal" with Heinrich because it would be "awful public policy."

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