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Archive for Friday, October 3, 2003

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October 3, 2003

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California

Rapist ordered to pay $20 million to victim

Convicted rapist and Max Factor heir Andrew Luster was ordered to pay more than $20 million in damages Thursday to a woman he drugged and sexually assaulted three years ago.

The plaintiff, listed only as "Tonja Doe," was one of three women who accused Luster of knocking them out with the date-rape drug GHB and sexually assaulting them at his beach house northwest of Los Angeles.

Superior Court Judge Barbara Lane ordered Luster to pay the woman $10 million for pain and suffering, $10 million for punitive damages, and $529,774 for psychological counseling and lost earnings.

Luster, 39, the great-grandson of the cosmetics legend, was convicted this year in absentia of raping the women and sentenced to 124 years in prison.

Georgia

Army couple win $150 million jackpot

Danielle and Tirrell Moore, of Fitzgerald, above, have 150 million reasons to quit the Army and return to civilian life.

The couple bought the winning ticket for the Mega Millions multistate lottery and won a $150 million jackpot while on leave from South Korea. They chose to receive a lump sum payment of $88.9 million, and now plan to ask the Army for releases.

"It makes no sense to stay in the Army," Tirrell Moore said Thursday. "I have loved it. I'm just going to relax and get my head together."

Tirrell Moore is a chemical decontamination specialist with the 520th Maintenance Company. His wife has served as a helicopter electronic technician with C Company, 52nd Aviation Regiment. They are both staff sergeants.

SAN DIEGO

Suspect guilty of rape, murder of boys in 1993

A 40-year-old man was convicted of raping and murdering two boys in 1993, two years after he was linked to the slayings though new DNA extraction techniques.

Jurors could recommend the death sentence for Scott Erskine later this month under their verdict Wednesday in the strangling deaths of Jonathan Sellers, 9, and Charlie Keever, 13.

During the trial, the defense didn't call any witnesses or question prosecution witnesses. Erskine's lawyer Larry Ainbinder said he would focus on avoiding the death penalty. He has said Erskine suffered brain damage when he was hit by a car at age 5.

PHILADELPHIA

Players charged with sodomizing teammates

Three high school football players were charged Thursday with sodomizing younger teammates during a hazing at a preseason training camp.

The teens have been under investigation by authorities and a grand jury in Pennsylvania for allegedly sexually torturing the teammates with a broomstick, pine cones and golf balls during the Aug. 22-27 camp in Preston Park, about 125 miles north of Philadelphia.

State police said the victims, a 13-year-old and two 14-year-old boys, were threatened, beaten and then violated with foreign objects covered in a pain-relieving cream. Two of the suspects are 16, the other is 17.

The suspects, members of the Mepham High School football team in Bellmore, N.Y., face a list of juvenile court charges, including involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, kidnapping, aggravated assault, unlawful restraint and false imprisonment.

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