All criminal charges may have been dropped in Mexico against TV bounty hunter Duane "Dog" Chapman, his son and another member of his crew for capturing a convicted American rapist on the lam four years ago, TMZ reported Thursday.
A Mexican federal court had charged Chapman, 53, and the others with deprivation of liberty for seizing Andrew Luster, an heir to the Max Factor cosmetics fortune, in June 2003 in Puerto Vallarta.
Chapman was awaiting a possible extradition to Mexico and a criminal trial there. He faced four years in a Mexican jail if convicted.
Luster, a serial rapist, was wanted by U.S. courts when Chapman caught him. He's now serving a 124-year prison sentence.
The cosmetics heir jumped a $1 million bond and disappeared during his trial in California's Ventura County on charges that he drugged and raped three women.
The disappearance set off a national and international manhunt by police, FBI and bounty hunters trying to recoup some of the bond money.
Bounty hunting is a crime in Mexico. Chapman was jailed briefly with his son and associate after they were arrested there on Sept. 14, 2006, but was free on $300,000 bail.
TMZ couldn't immediately confirm that all the charges were dropped against Chapman, but his attorney told the Web site that he "received a favorable ruling from the people in Puerto Vallarta. The extent of that ruling is unknown as we are still in the process of translating it."
Chapman's capture of Luster catapulted the Honolulu-based bounty hunter to fame and led to the A&E reality series "Dog the Bounty Hunter."
A&E gave TMZ the following statement: "Earlier this week the First Criminal Court in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, dismissed all charges against Dog, Tim and Leland Chapman due to the expiration of the statute of limitations on the criminal counts pending against them. The order effectively cancelled all pending charges. The ruling is, however, subject to appeal by the prosecution in Puerto Vallarta."
That appeal must be filed by Aug. 8, according to the A&E statement.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.