'Bling Ring' Ex-Con And Jailhouse Friend Sentenced In Bizarre Stalking Case
Former-Bling Ring member Nicholas Frank Prugo, 26, and his friend Edward Feinstein, 32, were sentenced on Thursday to 350 hours of community service and three years of probation for stalking an esthetician in West Hollywood. The pair pleaded no contest to one misdemeanor count of stalking after the judge reduced the charge from a felony and threw out a charge of solicitation of rape, citing insufficient evidence. The two men have also been ordered to keep away from the victim and her children, and they must have no contact with one another for the next 10 years, according to a release from the L.A. County District Attorney's office.
The whole thing is a very L.A. story. Prugo had spent a year in jail for his involvement with the Bling Ring, a group of six teenagers who burgled various celebrity homes, including that of Paris Hilton and Orlando Bloom. He and Feinstein were accused of stalking Dawn DaLuise, a celebrity skin care professional who has performed facials on the likes of Christina Ricci and Sarah Michelle Gellar.
DaLuise became acquainted with Prugo in 2013 after going out for a drink with journalist Nancy Jo Sales, who penned the book The Bling Ring, and who introduced her to Prugo. The two became friends, and DaLuise became interested in helping Prugo develop a reality show where he could expose potential security weaknesses in expensive homes, given his expertise in the matter. Prugo introduced DaLuise to Feinstein, who he had befriended while they were both in jail.
By the end of the year, another esthetician, Gabrial Suarez, had opened a shop in the same West Hollywood complex as DaLuise. Around that same time, DaLuise began experiencing harassment, saying that someone had put up an ad on Craigslist pretending to be her and requesting men come to her home to help her fulfill a rape fantasy. Several men, she said, responded to the ad, showing up at her house. And it wasn't just men that showed up; she said she also began receiving massive food deliveries from pizza and sandwich shops that she hadn't ordered. Then, she said that someone emailed her entire contact list with flyers featuring photos of her adult daughters with the caption, "We love having incest with our mother."
DaLuise assumed it was her new neighbor and skin care rival, Suarez, and Feinstein confirmed her suspicions when he told her he'd seen Suarez slashing her tires.
But Feinstein told police investigating the alleged harassment that he never saw Suarez slashing DaLuise's tires, and that DaLuise was faking the harassment as part of a ploy to get Suarez's business out of the same complex as her own, either via arrest or eviction. He also led detectives to messages where a distressed DaLuise had allegedly talked about hiring someone to kill Suarez. Despite DaLuise's claims that she was just joking and venting, as she believed it was Suarez who was behind the harassment, she was arrested in March of 2014. She spent ten months in jail before being acquitted, despite Feinstein's documented history of conning and harassing people.
DeLuise, who is currently in the process of suing L.A. County and LASD, said she did not believe the men's lawyers, who said in court that the pair were turning their lives around.
"My life was decimated. What happened to me was an injustice," she said, according to New York Daily News.
Prugo's attorney, Pat Harris, cast doubt on DeLuise, saying that the fact that the judge dropped one count entirely and the other to a misdemeanor "speaks to [DaLuise's] credibility." Jane Robison, a spokesperson for the D.A.'s office, told LAist that while she couldn't speak for the judge, she could confirm that after a preliminary hearing, the judge "didn't believe the testimony for whatever reason" and chose to throw the solicitation of rape charge out.