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Not guilty plea in Stan Lee abuse case

Stan_Lee_and_Keya_Morgan.jpg

In this April 23, 2018, file photo, Stan Lee, left, and Keya Morgan arrive at the world premiere of "Avengers: Infinity War" in Los Angeles. Morgan, the former business manager of Lee has been arrested on elder abuse charges involving the late comic book icon. Los Angeles police say Morgan was taken into custody in Arizona early Saturday, May 25, 2019, on an outstanding arrest warrant. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)

A former business manager to Stan Lee has pleaded not guilty to charges that he abused the Marvel Comics legend.

Keya Morgan, 43, entered the plea in Los Angeles on Wednesday.

Morgan was charged in May with five counts of elder abuse including theft, embezzlement, forgery or fraud against an elder adult, and false imprisonment of an elder adult.

The comics legend, who co-created Spider-Man, the Incredible Hulk and Black Panther, died in November at age 95.

Alex Kessel, an attorney for Morgan, says his client never abused or took advantage of Lee.

Los Angeles County prosecutors say Morgan sought to capitalize on Lee's wealth and exert influence over him, allegedly pocketing $262,000 from autograph-signing sessions Lee did in May 2018.

In a request for a restraining order last year Lee's daughter, Joan, said Morgan was manipulating the mentally declining Lee, preventing him from seeing family and friends, and trying to take control of his money and business affairs.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Francis Bennett set a hearing for Thursday morning to determine the source of money offered to secure Morgan's release. His bail is set at $300,000.

© AP 2019

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