Former tan salon owner pleads not guilty to filming minors

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- A former tanning salon owner pleaded not guilty Monday to eight child pornography charges for allegedly videotaping underage female customers with a hidden camera.

Brett Patrick Kent, 35, entered his plea before U.S. Magistrate Judge James England during an arraignment at Springfield's federal courthouse.

Kent was arrested last month in Phoenix after fleeing Missouri and remains in federal detention.

He faces 22 charges filed by prosecutors and 13 lawsuits from customers for allegedly using a hidden camera to videotape women undressing or tanning in the nude at his salon, 360 Degree Tan.

Authorities said they were tipped off to Kent's alleged crimes in late 2005 after a female employee said she was using a business computer and discovered the images. Federal prosecutors allege some of the customers were minors, forming the basis for the child pornography charges.

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