Andrew Luster, the 49-year-old heir to the Max Factor cosmetic fortune, will face a new sentencing hearing on 86 counts of rape and related charges. The convicted rapist was not granted a new trial.
A California judge has thrown out the original sentencing of 124 years in prison imposed on Luster nearly a decade ago, citing the first sentencing had been improper.
Monday Ventura County Superior Court Judge Kathryne Ann Stoltz ruled that the judge who sent Luster to prison for 124 years failed to state specific reasons for imposing full consecutive sentences rather than having them run concurrently and vacated the original term.
In 2003, Luster had been convicted in absentia, a trial or sentencing in which the defendant is not physically present, on 86 counts of rape.
The charges alleged Luster had sexually violated three women, drugging them with GHB — a depressant that causes unconsciousness and is commonly referred to as a “club drug” or “date rape” drug — and raping them in his beachfront home in Ventura, California. He was arrested in 2000.
Luster was found guilty of rape of an intoxicated person, rape of an unconscious person, and sexual battery. Luster fled the country on a $1-million bail and hid out in Mexico during the trial.
It was revealed Duane Lee Chapman, better known as Dog the Bounty Hunter, had nabbed the fugitive in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico on a tip provided from Luster’s own lawyer, Richard Sherman.
Attorney-client privilege would have prohibited a capture predicated on a lawyer disclosing the whereabouts of his or her client to a bounty hunter.
Luster’s current attorneys argued jumping bail in 2003 was instigated by Sherman who frightened Luster, repeatedly telling him he’d be killed in prison. Richard G. Sherman died in 2011. Up to his death, Sherman refuted disclosing Luster’s hiding place in Mexico.
Luster’s new sentencing will be held on April 4.
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