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Last Updated: Friday, 20 June, 2003, 23:08 GMT 00:08 UK
Max Factor heir appeals jail term
Andrew Luster photographed after his arrest in Mexico
Luster disappeared in January while on trial
The lawyer for Max Factor cosmetics heir Andrew Luster has appealed against his client's 124-year sentence for rape.

Roger Diamond filed his appeal after Luster spent his first night in a US prison following his dramatic recapture in Mexico where he had fled during his trial earlier this year.

Mr Diamond, who said he had not seen his client since his arrival at Los Angeles airport on Thursday evening, asked California's Supreme Court to overturn a 10 June ruling by an appellate court denying him the right to an appeal on the grounds that he had jumped bail.

He was convicted in his absence on 86 counts of rape, poisoning and drug possession, and received his sentence on 28 February.

"I can guarantee you he wants to go forward with an appeal even though I haven't heard from him," Mr Diamond told reporters as he filed his appeal. "It's my intuition."

He was challenging the appellate court's ruling, he said, on the grounds that his client was now in custody again and also that the judge at the trial had made a number of "errors".

First night in

Luster spent his first night in custody at Wasco State Prison under close supervision, placed in a in a two-man cell for his own protection.

"It was just a precautionary move... based on the high notoriety of the case..." Lieutenant Troy Ojeda said.

"The night went without incident. He slept in a cell and was fine."

Luster, 39, was arrested on Wednesday in the Pacific resort of Puerto Vallarta as the US bounty hunter Duane "Dog" Chapman was trying seize him.

He had fled the US in January when he jumped his $1m bail.

The arrest was made after a couple who had spent time with Luster in Puerto Vallarta contacted the FBI when they returned to the US and realised who he was.

The couple also notified Mr Chapman, who is believed to have been hunting Luster since he jumped his bail.

Hiding in plain sight

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

His car and dog were found later that month.

Great grandson of cosmetics mogul Max Factor
Arrested in July 2000
Bail initially set at $10m, reduced to $1m
Trial began in December 2002
Disappeared on 3 Jan
Found guilty on 21 Jan on 86 of 87 charges
Sentenced to 124 years in prison on 28 February
Re-arrested in Mexico on 18 June

Reports say he had been living in a hotel in Puerto Vallarta for a month - next door to the local office of the federal justice department.

He was sentenced in February for raping three women and drugging two of them with the so-called "date rape" drug GHB at his home in California.

His lawyers argued during the trial that the sex had been consensual and suggested that Luster may have been kidnapped or had an accident.

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.

Above the law: US bounty hunters
19 Jun 03  |  Americas
Profile: Andrew Luster
18 Jun 03  |  Americas
Max Factor fugitive's car found
21 Jan 03  |  Americas
Max Factor heir 'flees' sex trial
07 Jan 03  |  Americas
US millionaire denies 'drug-rape'
02 Aug 00  |  Americas
The date rape menace
17 May 00  |  UK News

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