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Unsealing of Tapes Sought in Luster Case

July 17, 2001|From Times Staff Reports

A judge has agreed to consider a request by The Times to unseal videotape evidence allegedly showing rape suspect Andrew Luster sexually assaulting two women.

The tapes were key evidence during a hearing to determine if Luster should stand trial on 87 counts of rape, sodomy, sexual assault, oral copulation, poisoning and drug possession.

Luster allegedly used a date-rape drug to sexually assault three women in his Mussel Shoals home. At his home, investigators found several videotapes that show Luster engaged in sex with two of the alleged victims, authorities said.

During a hearing last month, Superior Court Judge James P. Cloninger agreed to requests from the prosecutor and defense to seal all evidence submitted in the case. At the end of the June hearing, Luster was ordered to stand trial beginning Oct. 29.

Cloninger said he will rule on The Times' request later this week.

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