||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (November 2007)|
mug shot of Luster
15 December 1963 |
Las Vegas, Nevada
|Criminal charge||Rape, sodomy, oral copulation, unlawful flight to avoid prosecution|
|Criminal penalty||50 years (124 years before appeal), $1 million fine|
|Criminal status||Incarcerated in Mule Creek State Prison|
|Parents||Henry Luster (deceased)
|Conviction(s)||January 22, 2003 (in absentia; captured June 18, 2003)|
Andrew Stuart Luster (born December 15, 1963) is the great-grandson of cosmetics giant Max Factor, Sr. and an heir to the Max Factor cosmetics fortune. He grew up in Malibu, California, and attended Windward School in Los Angeles. Luster had been supported by a $3.1 million trust fund as he traveled and surfed at various beaches. He was convicted of a series of rapes in 2003.
Andrew Luster is the son of Henry Luster, a psychiatrist, and Elizebeth Luster (née Shore). His mother was the adopted daughter of Max Factor, Sr.'s daughter Freida. He grew up in great privilege and he attended private academies, including Windward School. His parents divorced when he was a child and his father died of lung cancer when he was nine years old, which devastated him.
Arrest and conviction
In 2002, 1993 and 2004, Luster was accused of giving three women GHB, a date rape drug, and raping them while they were unconscious. The first person to accuse Luster was a college student; the second, a seventeen-year-old; the third, a woman Luster would later establish a relationship with. She later discovered that unbeknownst to her, Luster had raped her the first night he met her. Luster was brought to trial in 2002. Soon afterward, police officers found videotapes of Luster raping the women in question, including one tape labeled "Shauna GHBing.". During the trial, the third rape victim, who was pregnant with twins at the time, became extremely agitated due to the pressures of having to testify in court. After complications with her pregnancy, one of the twins died as a result of the stress imposed on her during the trial.
In January 2003, while on trial for rape, Luster left the country and was declared a fugitive from justice by the judge. Although his attorneys attempted to halt proceedings until he could be located, the judge ruled that Luster would be tried in absentia.
The trial went ahead without him and on January 22, after two days of deliberations, the jury found Luster guilty on 86 of 87 charges against him (many of which had been added to California state law in the wake of the 1996 federal drug-induced sexual assault law) and deadlocked on a single poisoning charge.
Luster was convicted of 20 counts of drug-induced rape, 17 counts of raping an unconscious victim, and multiple counts of sodomy and oral copulation by use of drugs. Luster was sentenced to six years for each of the 20 counts of rape (to be served consecutively) and another four years for poisoning, for a total of 124 years in prison. Luster was also ordered to pay a $1 million fine.
The California Court of Appeal refused the appeal his attorneys filed on his behalf, ruling that as a fugitive from justice, Luster had flouted the court's authority and had thus forfeited his right to appeal. The California Supreme Court and the United States Supreme Court later refused to overturn this ruling.
During his flight, Luster found his way to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, where he lived under the assumed name David Carrera, surfing and partying. He was captured by bounty hunter Duane "Dog" Chapman, his son Leland Chapman, Tim Chapman, and two TV crewmen in a noisy scuffle on June 18, 2003, and was then taken into custody by Mexican authorities. The next day, Luster was returned to the U.S., and imprisoned. Chapman was subsequently arrested for deprivation of liberty because bounty-hunting is prohibited by Mexican law, a charge that was ultimately dropped in August 2007.
Prison sentence and civil suits
Luster is currently incarcerated at Mule Creek State Prison in Ione, California. Under California law, since his crimes harmed other persons, Luster must serve 50 percent of his sentence before being eligible for release with time off for good behavior. As he was initially sentenced to 124 years, he would not have been eligible for release until he served 105 years—meaning that he would have spent the rest of his life in prison.
In late 2009, Luster filed a petition for habeas corpus as the final possibility of getting his case reviewed by another court on appeal. Luster is represented in that suit by J. David Nick and Jay Leiderman. The habeas corpus petition was granted in April 2012. On March 11, 2013, the Ventura County Superior Court vacated Luster's 124-year sentence but not his conviction, based on the trial judge's failure to state specific reasons for imposing consecutive sentences, and ordered a new sentencing hearing April 4, 2013.
Two of the victims won civil lawsuits against Luster, who was ordered to pay a total of $40 million. Their attorneys are still trying to wade through the Luster/Factor investments to determine how much their clients will actually receive. Luster subsequently sold most of his property and declared bankruptcy.
On April 16, 2013, Ventura County, California Superior Court Judge Kathryne Stoltz reduced Luster's sentence to 50 years—48 years for the rapes and two years for the drug-related charges. He will now be eligible for parole in just 15 years, around the year 2028. This still did not go far enough for Luster's lawyers, who said they will appeal.  
Luster has two children with ex-girlfriend Valerie Balderama: a son, Connor, born June 19, 1991, and a daughter, Quinn, born in 1994.
After he vanished, a movie called A Date with Darkness: The Trial and Capture of Andrew Luster was made based on him and his victims. The film was supposed to end with a picture of the real Andrew Luster, asking the audience to notify authorities if they should see him. When Luster was finally captured, the film was still shooting. The ending was re-written to incorporate his capture.
- "The Thin Blurred Line - Page 3 - Los Angeles Times". Articles.latimes.com. 2002-12-01. Retrieved 2013-09-28.
- Krajicek, David. Andrew Luster case at TruTV
- "California Courts Appellate Courts; Docket (Register of Actions)". Appellatecases.courtinfo.ca.gov. Retrieved 2013-09-28.
- Supreme Court of the United States Docket for 03-854, Andrew Stuart v. California December 11, 2003
- Record of the Motion to Dismiss Appeal at FindLaw
- "Max Factor heir returns to face prison term" CNN; June 20, 2003
- Collins, Dan. "Luster Hunter Can't Cash In: Judge Says Duane Chapman Not Entitled To Any Of Rapist's Bail" CBS News; August 6, 2003
- Hernandez, Raul. Luster petitions court to free him. Ventura County Star, 2009-11-12.
- "Ventura County Star 10 December 2012, retrieved 23 January 2013". Vcstar.com. Retrieved 2013-09-28.
- March 11, 2013 (2013-03-11). "Convicted rapist Andrew Luster's 124-year sentence vacated". Latimesblogs.latimes.com. p. m. Retrieved 2013-09-28.
- Krajicek, David. "Andrew Luster, Max Factor heir and convicted rapist". The Crime library. Retrieved 2013-09-28.
- Hernandez, Raul. .Ventura County Star, 2013-04-16. [Article updated on 2013-04-16 on VCStar.com, Ventura County Star's website, at 5:04pm PST].
- Associated Press . Washington Post, 2013-04-16.
- Doniza, Amanda Blogspot, 2013-04-16.