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Artist Jack Armstrong accused of Beverly Hills rape

The 'cosmic artist,' whose paintings go for as much as $6 million, is arrested. The attack occurred in 2010, authorities say.

November 26, 2013|By Ari Bloomekatz

"Cosmic artist" Jack Armstrong, who advertises his paintings as priced from $600,000 to $6 million, has been arrested and accused of raping a woman in Beverly Hills while she was unconscious.

Armstrong, 56, was taken into custody Friday at a home in Eagle Rock on a $100,000 arrest warrant issued by the Los Angeles County district attorney's office for one count of rape. He was released after posting bond.

The incident occurred on March 4, 2010, when Armstrong and the victim struck up a conversation outside a club in Beverly Hills, according to the district attorney's office.

They went inside the club and Armstrong bought the woman "several beers."

"Prosecutors allege that the next thing the victim remembers is waking up in a bed in a hotel room laying next to the defendant with her underpants and tights off," according to the district attorney's office. "The victim was sore and nauseous. The defendant was naked."

They left the hotel and Armstrong drove the woman home, prosecutors said. The district attorney's office said a sexual assault exam was completed and evidence collected.

The Southern California artist got his nickname after christening his bright, multicolored paintings as "cosmic extensionalism."

Armstrong raised eyebrows in recent years when he unveiled a painted Harley-Davidson motorcycle priced in the seven figures.

Attempts to reach him Tuesday were unsuccessful.

Beverly Hills police are calling on other possible assault victims to come forward.

"Detectives are seeking the public's assistance out of concern that Armstrong may have victimized other women using his so-called celebrity status," the department said.

They urged anyone with information to call (310) 285-2159.

Armstrong is due in court for arraignment Dec. 20 on one felony charge of "rape of unconscious person," according to a criminal complaint filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court.

The complaint alleges that Armstrong knew the woman was unconscious when the rape occurred.

ari.bloomekatz@latimes.com

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