Thu, Apr 18, 2013 - Page 7 News List

Max Factor heir resentenced after a decade in prison for three drug-rapes

TECHNICALITY:Andrew Luster, who was convicted of 86 felony counts while he was a fugitive in 2003 after jumping bond, will be eligible for parole in 15 years

AP, VENTURA, California

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.

Andrew Luster, 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 will be eligible for parole in 15 years, prosecutors said.

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

Luster’s lawyers Jay Leiderman and 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 date-rape drug GHB and raping them at his beachfront home while they were unconscious.

He jumped his US$1 million 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.

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