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Anand Jon

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Anand Jon
Born Anand Jon Alexander
(1976-11-28) November 28, 1976 (age 38)
Kerala, Republic of India
Occupation fashion designer and company director
Criminal penalty 59+ years
Criminal status Incarcerated

Anand Jon Alexander (born November 28, 1976),[1] also known as Anand Jon is an Indian-born American celebrity fashion designer who appeared on America's Next Top Model. In November 2008 Los Angeles court found him guilty on multiple charges of rape and sexual offenses and sentenced him to 59 years.[2] In April 2013 in the New York trial for a similar case, 48 out of 49 charges were dropped after he pleaded guilty to a single count.[3]

Career

Jon was born in Kerala, India and moved to the U.S. to study graphic design at the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He then moved to New York, and joined the Parsons The New School for Design making the transition from fine art to fashion.[4] At Parsons, he designed jewellery and graduated with majors in fashion design and communications in 1998. After launching his debut collection in 1999, Jon rapidly gained popularity and established himself as a brand.[5] Anand Jon credits Gianni Versace for his start in the fashion world.[6]

He designed clothes for celebrities including Mary J Blige, Paris Hilton and Jennet Jackson.[7] In 2006 Jon founded his own denim-design company Jeanisis Fashion Inc. and the same year received capitalization from the Joseph Stevens & Co. Inc. investment firm.[8][9] Jon was scheduled to introduce his Atomize Collection during the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at Smashbox Studios in March 2007.[6]

Arrest and conviction

Jon was arrested in March 2007 in Beverly Hills, California on rape and related charges.[6][10][11] He pleaded not guilty to all charges.

The prosecutors accused Jon of luring women and girls to his apartment under the pretext of securing modeling jobs.[2] His defense said that the sexual activity was consensual, and that one minor who accused Jon of rape had lied about her age.[10]

On November 13, 2008, he was convicted of multiple charges including rape and sexual assault against minors.[2] He was scheduled to be sentenced on January 13, 2009.[2]

Although many were concerned about the miscarriage of justice in the Anand Jon Alexander case,[12] still in July 2009, the judge denied a request for a new trial. Jon dismissed his attorneys before his sentencing as he suspected that they were in collaboration with the prosecutors.[13] He asked for and was granted permission to represent himself for the sentencing phase of the proceedings.[14] On August 31, 2009, Jon was sentenced to 59 years to life.[15][16]

Jon has also been indicted in Texas and New York on multiple charges alleging sexual assault.[2] All but one of the charges were dropped in the New York trial.[3]

LA Case Controversy

Considerable amount of controversy was raised during and after the LA case.[17][18]

One of those irregularities is related to juror No 12. During the trial he violated his oath on several occasions and was referred by Jon’s lawyers as hardly an impartial juror.[19] Although prohibited, juror No 12 had discussed the case with his tenant and told her he felt the girls on the stand all seem to have the same similar stories and was under the impression they had all collaborated.[20] Due to his fellow jurors’ anger towards him, juror No 12 felt he was pressured to give a verdict that he didn’t want to give.[21] Also, during deliberations several jurors complained to the judge that juror No 12 was refusing to properly deliberate and had made up his mind about the evidence.[22] Although the jury foreman had requested juror 12 to be removed for refusal to deliberate, it was denied by Judge Wesley.[23]

Another controversy regarding juror No 12 was his attempt to initiate contact with the defendants’ sister, Sanjana.[24] Under fear of repercussion to her brother, she responded to juror 12's demands and called the phone number she was handed on by him during trial.[25][26] It was later pointed by Jon’s team of lawyers that in November the juror No 12 had changed his vote from "not guilty" to "guilty" after the defendants’ sister refused to meet him.[19] Before a verdict was reached, juror No 12 reinitiated contact with Sanjana once again asking her to meet. After she informed the court, a meeting was scheduled, and it was arranged for her to record the meeting with a wire. Prior to the meeting, juror No 12 was intercepted by District Attorney Investigators informing him of the criminal investigation he was under, thus sabotaging the meeting.[27][28][29][30][31]

Regarding his actions, juror No 12 was summoned to a questioning where under oath he testified to have never spoken with Sanjana during the trial. Defense attorneys then presented a tape with their conversation along with phone records, proving that the juror had falsely testified.[32]

Although juror No 12 was repeatedly caught in perjury and was impeached by his own words, he was still allowed to plead the fifth to “not further incriminate himself".[33]

The trial judge refused to consider or hold evidentiary hearings in these matters, and the defendant’s request for a new trial was denied.[34]

Another controversy connected to the LA trial was the show of inconsistencies in the victims’ stories and the use of false testimonies.[35] During the trial, it was shown that the lead detective had destroyed evidence crucial to Anand Jon’s case and had not taken statements from a number of alleged victims who asserted that Jon had never sexually assaulted them.[36][37]

By the end of the trial Jon had to dismiss his team of defense lawyers once he realized that they were collaborating with the prosecution.[13] Additionally, defense lawyer’s daughter Elizabeth took a job with the D.A.'s office during the trial, while she was still working with Jon’s defense crew.[38]

In the NY trial, in exchange for his plea, prosecutors agreed to turn over crucial documents. His attorney believes that these documents will help him with his appeal in California. Jon’s appeal argues that he had ineffective counsel in California; the Manhattan documents indicate that the CA lawyers never obtained vital police documents and correspondence showing his accusers were squaring their stories among themselves and with civil lawyers.[39]

Personal life

Jon is a nephew of Indian classical musician and playback singer, K.J. Yesudas.[40] He has a sister, Sanjana Jon, who has actively advocated on behalf of her brother, requesting that the Indian government intervene in the LA trial.[16]

Awards and Recognitions

Throughout his career, Anand Jon Alexander has received many awards and recognitions and has been named cultural ambassador of India for his contribution to fashion. He was celebrity host for MTV Asia and VH1’s Awesomely Bad Fashions. He has appeared on America’s Next Top Model with Tyra Banks and on E! with Paris Hilton.[41]

References

  1. ^ Anand Jon at the Notable Names Database
  2. ^ a b c d e Leonard, Jack (2008-11-13). "Anand Jon Alexander Guilty of Rape". Los Angeles Times. 
  3. ^ a b "Fashion designer Anand Jon Alexander avoids jail in New York sex assault case". NEW YORK DAILY NEWS. 2013-04-03. 
  4. ^ "Anand Jon Alexander | US fashion designer gets 59 years to life sentence for rape". Smh.com.au. 2009-09-01. Retrieved 2010-05-02. 
  5. ^ "Anand Jon". fashionmodeldirectory.com. 
  6. ^ a b c Richard Winton (March 20, 2007). "Designer is facing more sex charges". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 20 November 2012. 
  7. ^ "Anand Jon News, Pictures, and Videos". TMZ.com. 
  8. ^ "Endgame: Anand Jon's Lawyers Fight for New Trial". L.A. Weekly. 2009-05-13. 
  9. ^ "Notice of Sales of Securities". Security and Exchange Commission. 
  10. ^ a b "US celebrity designer charged with rape". New Zealand Herald. 2007-03-15. 
  11. ^ Winton, Richard (2007-03-20). "Designer is facing more sex charges". Los Angeles Times. 
  12. ^ "LA-summary-AIAHRW-letterhead" (PDF). Ad Hoc Committee of Asian Indian American Cooperation in America (AIAC). 
  13. ^ a b "The Man Authorities Came to Frame". OPEN Magazine. 2012-02-11. 
  14. ^ "Anand Jon acts as own attorney in sexual-assault case". Los Angeles Times. 2009-07-14. 
  15. ^ "LA Fashion Designer Gets 59 Years to Life Sentence". The New York Times. Associated Press. August 31, 2009. Retrieved September 1, 2009. [dead link]
  16. ^ a b Anand Jon gets 59 years for sex crimes Chidanand Rajghatta Times of India Sept 9, 2009
  17. ^ "The Anand Jon Verdict: Justice? An Analysis of the Case". Waxword. 2008-11-22. 
  18. ^ "FREE ANAND JON...A VICTIM OF RACISM AND CONSPIRACY". 
  19. ^ a b "Juror's Flirting Imperils Rape Conviction". CBS News. 2009-07-04. 
  20. ^ "APPEAL from a judgment of the Superior Court of Los Angeles County. David S. Wesley, Judge. Affirmed." (PDF). Superior Court of Los Angeles County. 2012-06-19. 
  21. ^ "Fashion Designer Anand Jon Convicted of 16 Counts of Sexual Abuse". NBC News Los Angeles. 2006-03-08. 
  22. ^ "BREAKING NEWS: ANAND JON CONVICTED – LIFE IN PRISON". thewrap.com. 2008-11-13. 
  23. ^ "Anand Jon juror tried to meet with defendant's sister before conviction, defense lawyers say". Los Angeles Times. 2009-07-05. 
  24. ^ "For a Good Time, Call Juror 12: Juror Held in Contempt in Trial of Anand Jon Alexander For Contacting Sister". JONATHAN TURLEY. 2009-09-16. 
  25. ^ "Anand Jon juror tried to meet with defendant's sister before conviction, defense lawyers say". Los Angeles Times. 2009-07-05. 
  26. ^ "Juror No. 12 tried to ask me out: Sanjana". The Times of India. 2009-09-03. 
  27. ^ "Designer Convicted of Sexual Assault Seeks New Trial". NBC News Los Angeles. 2006-03-08. 
  28. ^ "California Briefing / Los Angeles". Los Angeles Times. 2009-04-28. 
  29. ^ "NEW QUESTIONS RAISED ABOUT ANAND JON TRIAL". L.A. Weekly. 2009-02-27. 
  30. ^ "Crime of Fashion: No New Trial for Wayward Designer to Stars". CBS News. 2009-07-07. 
  31. ^ "STAR-CROSSED AT STARBUCKS: STRANGE TWIST AT ANAND JON SENTENCING". L.A. Weekly. 2009-04-08. 
  32. ^ "Prosecutors: Flirty juror no reason for new trial". Victoria Advocate. 2009-07-02. 
  33. ^ "Juror takes 5th in probe of fashion designer trial". The San Diego Union Tribune. 2009-06-12. 
  34. ^ "Judge Denies New Sex Assault Trial for Fashion Designer Anand Jon Alexander". Fox News. 2009-07-06. 
  35. ^ "Defense targets designer's accusers". Los Angeles Times. 2008-11-05. 
  36. ^ "Lead detective destroyed evidence crucial to Anand Jon's case". Oneindia. 2008-08-21. 
  37. ^ "New twists in Anand Jon case may prove his innocence". Oneindia. 2008-08-22. 
  38. ^ "ANAND JON MAKES LAST STAND". L.A. Weekly. 2009-08-31. 
  39. ^ "Designer rapist Anand Jon has 48 sex-attack counts dropped, still faces 54 years". NY Post. 2013-02-15. 
  40. ^ TNN, Mar 18, 2007, 12.30pm IST (2007-03-18). "Flashback of a rape accused - Page2 - Sunday TOI - Home - The Times of India". Timesofindia.indiatimes.com. Retrieved 2010-05-02. 
  41. ^ "Anand Jon Celebrity Fashion Designer". asiancemagazine.com. 2006-12-01. 

External links