‘Bling Ring’ leader charged with soliciting rape of West Hollywood skin-care guru
One of the leaders of the “Bling Ring” burglary crew -- which drew headlines for the celebrity home burglaries and inspired a movie of the same name -- has been charged along with another man with stalking a West Hollywood skin-care guru and trying to hire a man to rape her, authorities said.
Nicholas Prugo, a member of a gang of teens and 20-somethings accused of stealing more than $3 million in jewelry and designer apparel in the burglaries -- was arrested Tuesday, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.
A second man, Edward Feinstein, was arrested Sept. 15 and released on $450,000 bail, prosecutors said.
Prugo and Feinstein schemed to stalk Dawn DaLuise and her two daughters between Dec. 1, 2013, and April 1, 2014, prosecutors alleged in a complaint filed Sept. 8 in L.A. County Superior Court. The pair also published an online ad seeking men to visit DaLuise’s residence and sexually assault her, prosecutors said.
DaLuise was arrested in 2014 and charged with trying to solicit the murder and assault of a business competitor, Gabriel Suarez. Prosecutors said DaLuise targeted Suarez after he opened a skin-care boutique next to her “skin refinery,” which catered to Hollywood celebrities.
But in January 2015, after just an hour of deliberations, a Los Angeles jury acquitted DaLuise of all charges.
DaLuise filed a lawsuit in April against the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department, accusing the sheriff’s investigators of relying on Feinstein as a witness but failing to properly investigate him before arresting her.
According to the suit, DaLuise began receiving threatening e-mails and replies to a Craigslist ad in 2013 that included her home address. The Craigslist ad stated that she wanted to participate in a rape fantasy, and because of the ad, several men began appearing at her home.
The lawsuit alleges that the stalking was the work of Feinstein, who was also telling detectives that DaLuise was colluding with him to make it look like Suarez was targeting her. Feinstein, the suit says, provided detectives with the texts that were ultimately used as evidence against DaLuise.
Feinstein was arrested on suspicion of stalking DaLuise in 2014 but was released.
After being convicted for the Bling Ring crimes, Prugo served one year of a two-year prison sentence. He pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree residential burglary.
The burglaries, which targeted the homes of celebrities Orlando Bloom, Megan Fox and Paris Hilton, were famously chronicled in a movie directed by Sofia Coppola and starring Emma Watson.
Prugo is scheduled to be arraigned on Wednesday. Feinstein is scheduled to be arraigned on Oct. 6. If convicted of all charges, Feinstein faces up to seven years in county jail, and Prugo, because of his prior conviction, faces up to 14 years in state prison.
For breaking news in California, follow @MattHjourno on Twitter.
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