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Luster Gave Up Right to Appeal, Court Concludes

June 12, 2003|Times Staff Writer

A California appellate court has dismissed fugitive rapist Andrew Luster's appeal, agreeing with prosecutors that Luster forfeited his right to challenge the conviction when he jumped bail and fled during his trial.

Luster, 39, great-grandson of cosmetics mogul Max Factor, was convicted of rape, poisoning and drug possession in January after he fled during a recess in his Ventura County trial. He was sentenced to 124 years in prison, but remains at large.

In April, Luster's attorney filed a notice of appeal on behalf of his missing client to seek review of contested rulings that the defense alleges prevented Luster from receiving a fair trial.

Prosecutors asked the 2nd District Court of Appeal in Ventura to deny the appeal, claiming state law gives a fugitive no right to challenge a conviction.

Without issuing an opinion, the appellate court agreed this week and granted the state attorney general's motion to dismiss. The California Supreme Court is expected to be asked to review the decision.

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