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Doctor to Celebrities Pleads No Contest

September 29, 2003

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ A doctor who allegedly catered to the prescription drug demands of celebrities including actress Winona Ryder pleaded no-contest Monday to charges of grand theft and practicing medicine without a license.

Jules Lusman, whose license was revoked last year, entered the plea to two charges in exchange for the dismissal of six others by prosecutors, said his attorney, Kendric Rollins.

``It was a borderline witch hunt brought because of the interest created during the Winona Ryder trial,″ Rollins said outside court.

Among celebrities medical investigators connected to Lusman was Ryder, who had 37 prescriptions filled by 20 doctors from 1996 to 1998, according to her probation report. Lusman lost his license last December, the same day Ryder was sentenced to three years probation and drug and psychological counseling for shoplifting.

Lusman was sentenced to five years probation and 30 days of community service. He was also fined and ordered to make restitution. He could have faced nearly four years in prison if convicted of all eight charges.

The charges stem from a complaint by a woman who said she went to Lusman in March for a cosmetic procedure similar to a Botox injection. Large bumps developed around her eyes and he refused to help her or return her $600 fee, she said.