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'Cosmic' Artist Jack Armstrong Arrested, Accused Of Rape

LOS ANGELES ( — A Southern California artist faces charges of raping an unconscious woman in Beverly Hills, police said.

Jack Nary Armstrong, 56, was arrested Friday in Eagle Rock in connection with an alleged rape in March 2010, Beverly Hills police said. Armstrong is free after posting $100,000 bail on Sunday.

Armstrong has been charged with one count of rape of an unconscious person, according to the District Attorney's Office, and is scheduled to be arraigned on Dec. 20.

Armstrong is known for a style he calls "Cosmic Extensionalism." One of his "canvases" was a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, dubbed the "Cosmic Starship Harley-Davidson," that he priced at $1.1 million and compared to Andy Warhol's pop art Campbell's soup cans.

Police say he used his celebrity status to attract his victim.

"He met the victim at a bar in West Hollywood," Beverly Hills police Sgt. Max Subin said. Armstrong took the victim to a hotel and she reported the rape the next day, March 5, 2010, he said.

The attack could have been drug-induced, Subin said.

"She woke up, didn't feel right and realized she was assaulted," he said.

Beverly Hills police say Armstrong has a criminal history that includes a "similar type of sexual assault." Detectives believe Armstrong may have assaulted other women.

A friend of Armstrong's who spoke to KCAL9's Andrea Fujii by phone Monday said she was surprised by the allegation and knows Armstronly only as a kind and generous person.

Anyone with information about Armstrong can call Beverly Hills police Det. Daniel Chilson at (310) 285-2159.

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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