Four weeks after a Mexican court dropped charges against Duane “Dog” Chapman and two others, a federal judge has refused to drop a $300,000 bond against the star of A&E’s Dog the Bounty Hunter. The charges are the result of Chapman’s 2006 arrest regarding the capture of fugitive rapist, Andrew Luster.
Luster, heir to the Max Factor cosmetics fortune, was convicted of 86 counts of rape, and was sentenced in absentia to 124 years in prison. Prior to his conviction, Luster fled to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, where he was eventually captured by Chapman, son Leland, and fellow bounty hunter, Tim Chapman in June 2003. Luster was then taken into custody by Mexican authorities.
Duane Chapman’s involvement in the high-profile case landed him Dog the Bounty Hunter on the cable network, but ironically, it is also what got him in trouble with the law. Because bounty hunting is illegal in Mexico, Chapman was charged with “deprivation of liberty,” and last September, was apprehended by U.S . Marshals at the request of prosecutors in Mexico. He was released on the $300,000 bond.
Late last month, Mexican judge Jose Alberto Montes dismissed the charges, which could have resulted in a maximum penalty of four years in prison. The judge said the statute of limitations had expired, and prosecutors subsequently submitted an appeal.
Despite the dismissal of the charges, US Magistrate Judge Barry Kurren left the bond in effect last week. The lifting of the bond was also opposed by The US Office of International Affairs in Washington, while a federal prosecutor reportedly wants more time to review the case.
A hearing has been set for October 26, when it will be decided whether the order will be kept in effect in the United States. Meanwhile, Chapman is allowed to travel, as long as he informs the court. Currently, the Bounty Hunter star is on a tour promoting his new book, You Can Run, But You Can’t Hide, which recently topped the New York Times nonfiction bestseller list.
“We’re devastated,” Duane Chapman and his wife Beth said in a statement. “We love this country and are proud to be Americans, so this is absolutely devastating that we can now roam free in Mexico, but not in our own country.”
-Lisa Claustro, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
Source: Yahoo News
(Image Courtesy of A&E)