A judge granted a petition for a new sentencing hearing for a convicted serial rapist in Ventura County, but rejected his efforts to get a new trial.
Andrew Luster was convicted of drugging, and then sexually assaulting three women in his beachfront home, videotaping the incidents. Luster argued that because of poor legal advice, he rejected a possible plea bargain with prosecutors. He went to trial, and was ultimately convicted, receiving a 124 year prison sentence.
Judge Katheryne Stoltz wrote that in the wake of the Writ of Habeus Corpus hearing, she’s convinced Luster would have never agreed to a plea agreement involving him spending substantial time behind bars. She says that Luster did receive good legal advice, and fired attorneys who gave him negative information.
Luster, who is a heir to the Max Factor cosmetics fortune, was out on bail during the trial, but fled to Mexico part way through it.
He was convicted in absentia in 2003, but later found in Mexico by a bounty hunter, and brought back to the U.S. to serve his sentence.
A new sentencing hearing has been set for April 4th.