Max Factor heir resentenced in rapes

2013-04-17 13:09
Max Factor fortune heir Andrew Luster is brought out of the Los Angeles International Airport under the custody of airport police and FBI agents after his arrival from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, in June 2003. (File, AFP)

Max Factor fortune heir Andrew Luster is brought out of the Los Angeles International Airport under the custody of airport police and FBI agents after his arrival from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, in June 2003. (File, AFP)

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Ventura — An heir to the Max Factor fortune convicted of drugging and raping three women was resentenced on Tuesday to a reduced 50-year term by a judge who earlier threw out an original 124-year prison term.

An heir to the Max Factor fortune convicted of drugging and raping three women has been resentenced to a reduced 50-year term by a judge who earlier threw out an original 124-year prison term.

Andrew Luster, aged 49, who has been in prison for a decade, was resentenced by Superior Court Judge Kathryne Ann Stoltz, the Ventura County Star reported.

Luster cried in the courtroom and said he was "incredibly grateful" for the resentencing.

"I did some really stupid things without thinking. It's caused so much damage to so many people," Luster said. "There is more to me than this salacious and lurid story."

Under the new sentence, he'll be eligible for parole in 15 years, prosecutors said.

The defence had sought a sentence of 25 years or less.

Cruel, vicious, callous

Luster's lawyers Jay Leiderman and J David Nick said in court documents filed last month that Luster is not a sexual predator and has had a "stellar performance" in prison.

Prosecutors argued in a sentencing memorandum filed last week that Luster's sentence was appropriate, but the original court's reasoning needed to be explained.

On Tuesday, Deputy District Attorney Michelle Contois called Luster's crimes "cruel, vicious and callous".

Last month, the judge refused a request to throw out Luster's conviction but granted him a resentencing hearing, writing in her ruling that the court "failed to state specific reasons for imposing full consecutive sentences" as the law requires.

Luster's lawyers said they would continue to appeal his conviction despite the new sentence.

Luster was arrested in 2000 and charged with giving three women the drug GHB and raping them at his beachfront home while they were unconscious.

He jumped his $1m bond and fled while on trial in early 2003.

He was convicted that year of 86 felony counts while a fugitive. He was captured the same year in Mexico by reality TV bounty hunter Duane "Dog" Chapman, who was in the courtroom for Tuesday's resentencing.

"The original sentence was not erroneous — only the record needed to be corrected," Deputy District Attorney Michelle Contois wrote.


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