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Jury acquits skin-care guru accused of plot against rival

Jury acquits skin-care guru accused of plot against rival
Dawn DaLuise, the owner of a West Hollywood skin-care business, seen here at her arraignment in March, has been acquitted of solicitation of murder and released. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

A Los Angeles jury acquitted a skin-care guru to the stars Thursday who had been accused of becoming so obsessed with a rival aesthetician that she solicited his killing, authorities said.

Dawn DaLuise, 56, was released immediately after the verdict in which jurors found her not guilty of solicitation of murder and solicitation of assault.

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DaLuise, a former model turned skin-care specialist, was accused of telling friends that she hated Gabriel Suarez, a competitor who opened up a shop near her West Hollywood business last year.

A prosecutor said during the trial that she also told friends she had found someone to "take out Gabriel." Deputy Dist. Atty. Christine Von Helmolt said DaLuise had been setting in motion a plot to hurt or kill Suarez, wrongly believing that he was behind a cyberstalking campaign against her.

DaLuise's lead defense attorney, however, said the aesthetician was merely venting to friends after she saw craigslist posts listing her name, phone number and address that said she wanted to be part of a "rape fantasy."

Suarez, reached soon after the verdict was announced, was shocked at the news.

"It's horrible," he said before hanging up. "I can't say any more at this point. It's so horrible."

Staff writer Sarah Parvini contributed to this report.

For more crime news, follow @marisagerber and @lacrimes

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