Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Andrew Luster

Many Defenses

Sitting in jail, Drew Luster was incredulous.

"My life has been ruined because police and prosecutors jumped to conclusions," he told the Los Angeles Times. "They wanted to make me their GHB poster boy. They're doing this to punish me for my lifestyle, which doesn't fit in with their conservative values. In 20 years I haven't gotten anything except a few speeding tickets. Had they thoroughly investigated (Carey) before charging me, they would have discovered she lied...They allowed the case to go forward to boost their careers."

Working the media, his attorneys threw a briefcase full of defenses against the wall to see if any stuck:

  • Carey was suffering morning-after remorse. "She did some things she was not proud of, having sex with two or three men," said attorney Joel Isaacson. "This is how she justified her conduct to herself."
  • Luster was a victim of date-rape drug hysteria.
  • Luster's status as a wealthy descendant of Max Factor made him a trophy prosecution for career-climbing Ventura County authorities. Roger Diamond, another Luster lawyer, went so far as to declare, "Plain and simple, this is a case about prosecutorial misconduct and we plan to get to the bottom of it."
  • Carey, Tonja and Shauna were golddiggers who wanted a slice of Luster's fortune. (Luster acknowledged that, in trying to impress Carey on the night they met, he mentioned that he was a Max Factor scion.)
  • Luster claimed he had had sex with Shauna and Tonja repeatedly during their relationships — sometimes on videotape, with their knowledge and consent. Investigators found one such recording of Tonja. Attorney Diamond said in a court filing, "Tonja enthusiastically participated in fetish films with the defendant." Was that not implied consent to tape all their sexual episodes?
  • Luster was an aspiring pornographic film producer who used his girlfriends as studies in production technique. The women were merely pretending to be asleep.
  • Luster implied a sexual invitation with Carey because she had had sex with David in the backseat of his car, had gone skinny dipping, and joined him in the shower. As proof that their sex was consensual, he came up with a photo that showed a smiling Carey at his home sometime after the shower.
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