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 Tuesday, 21 January, 2003, 11:29 GMT
Max Factor fugitive's car found
Andrew Luster in a July, 2001, photo
Mr Luster took his car, dog and clothes when he fled
Police have found the car of Andrew Luster, the heir to the Max Factor fortune who jumped bail in the middle of his trial for date rape.

It was discovered in an upmarket area of Santa Monica, and had apparently been there for some weeks, police said.

Mr Luster's dog was found last week in northern California.

There is still no sign of Mr Luster, who is accused of 87 crimes related to date rape and faces life in prison if convicted.

He denies the charges.

Warm destination?

Mr Luster's trial has continued, despite his absence.

ANDREW LUSTER
Andrew Luster poster shown in court
Great grandson of cosmetics mogul Max Factor
Arrested in July 2000
Bail initially set at $10m, reduced to $1m
Trial on 87 sex charges began 16 December, 2002
Disappeared on 3 January

Jurors are considering their verdict after hearing testimony that Mr Luster spiked women's drinks with the date rape drug gammahydroxybutyrate (GHB) and then raped them at his home.

But Mr Luster's lawyer accused the witnesses of lying.

He said Mr Luster had fled because he feared he would not receive a fair trial.

Mr Luster disappeared on 3 January, despite being under house arrest and wearing and electronic tag.

A search of his house found he had taken his dog, a collection of American Indian artefacts and car.

He left behind only cold-weather clothes, suggesting he might be heading to warmer climes, officials said.

Although he had to give up his passport as part of his bail conditions, it has been suggested that his wealth and connections might have allowed him to travel abroad nonetheless.

Mr Luster is the great-grandson of Max Factor, who established a cosmetics empire in 1920s Hollywood.

The firm was sold by Max Factor junior in the 1970s.

See also:

07 Jan 03 | Americas
02 Aug 00 | Americas
17 May 00 | UK
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