CHICAGO (AP) _ A West German man lured to this country by perfumed letters and fake promises of romance was arrested on charges of importing child pornography, authorities said.

Roland Scherer, 30, was arrested by Customs agents Jan. 20 at O'Hare International Airport, where he expected to meet a woman named ''Sheila,'' authorities said.

''Sheila'' was an identity manufactured by Customs special agent Jack O'Malley, who composed the letters and had a secretary write them out or sign them, adding some of her perfume, according to officials.

Scherer, 30, of Bensheim-Auerbach, West Germany, pleaded innocent Thursday to three counts of importing child pornography.

U.S. Magistrate Bernard Weisberg ordered him held without bond at the federal Metropoloitan Correctional Center in Chicago.

Scherer had been indicted in April, and O'Malley developed ''Sheila'' to lure him into court to face the charges.

Agents set up a special answering machine that was identified as Sheila's home number, and a state police investigator posed for photographs that were sent to Scherer, who had asked to see what Sheila looked like, authorities said.

Authorities say Scherer sent nude photographs of himself to ''Sheila'' before his trip, but the pictures he received showed the State Police investigator fully clothed.

In the letters, Sheila was portrayed as the owner of an adult bookstore who frequently took trips abroad.