Anand Jon

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Anand Jon
Born
Anand Jon Alexander

(1973-11-28) November 28, 1973 (age 48)
Kerala, India
Occupationfashion designer and company director
Criminal statusIncarcerated
Parent(s)Shashi Abraham
Criminal penalty59+ years

Anand Jon Alexander (born November 28, 1973), better known as Anand Jon, is an Indian-born American celebrity fashion designer and convicted rapist who appeared on America's Next Top Model and was listed in Newsweek's ”Who’s Next in 2007?”.[1] In November 2008, Jon was convicted at the Los Angeles Court on one count of rape and multiple counts of lesser sexual offenses. He was sentenced to 59 years to life.[2] Jon was facing similar charges in New York, but before the trial began in 2013, the New York prosecutors accepted his guilty plea, and he was sentenced to time served.[3][4]

Career[edit]

Jon was born in Kerala, India. At 16, he won a scholarship to the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and moved to United States. He moved to New York and joined Parsons The New School for Design making the transition from fine art to fashion.[5] Upon graduating from Parsons, where the Associate Dean was Tim Gunn, Jon launched his debut collection "Amazone" in 1999.[6]

As Jon's brand gained popularity with his Kama Sutra Indo chic fusions, he was sponsored by Giorgio Armani. Jon also credits Gianni Versace for his start in the fashion world.[7]

Jon attracted celebrities, socialites and royalty as clients, some of whom debuted as models on his runway shows and projects, including Michelle Rodriguez,[8] Amanda Hearst and Lydia Hearst,[9] Paris Hilton and Nicky Hilton,[10] and others. "If you were a wannabe, he was the perfect tailcoat to ride on", according to Catherine Saxton, a fashion publicist in New York.[9]

In 2006 Jon founded a denim design company Jeanisis Fashion Inc., and the same year he received capitalization from the Joseph Stevens & Co. Inc. investment firm.[11][12]

Arrest and conviction[edit]

Jon was arrested in March 2007 in Beverley Hills, California, on rape and related charges.[7][13][14] He pleaded not guilty to all charges. He had no prior felony convictions.[15] The prosecutors accused Jon of luring women and girls to his apartment under the pretext of securing modeling jobs.[2] Jon claimed that the sexual activity was consensual, and that one minor who accused him of rape had lied about her age.[13]

On November 13, 2008, he was convicted on one count of rape of an adult woman and multiple other charges including unlawful conduct and contributing to delinquency of minors.[2] In July 2009 the judge denied Jon's request for a new trial. Jon dismissed his attorneys before his sentencing as he suspected that they were in collaboration with the prosecutors.[16] He represented himself for the sentencing phase of the proceedings.[17] On August 31, 2009, Jon was sentenced to 59 years to life.[18][19]

Jon was also 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]

Los Angeles case controversy[edit]

Jon asserts that during his trial, juror No. 12 was not an impartial juror.[20] Although prohibited, juror No. 12 had discussed the case with his tenant and told her he felt the girls on the stand all seemed to have the same or similar stories, and that he was under the impression they had all collaborated.[21] 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.[22] 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.[23] Although the jury foreman had requested that juror No. 12 be removed for refusal to deliberate, it was denied by Judge Wesley.[24]

Juror No. 12 also attempted to initiate contact with the defendant's sister, Sanjana.[25] Under fear of repercussion to her brother, she responded to juror No. 12's demands and called the phone number she was handed by him during trial.[26][27] In November juror No. 12 changed his vote from "not guilty" to "guilty" after the defendant's sister refused to meet him.[20] Before a verdict was reached, juror No. 12 re-initiated contact with Sanjana, once again asking her to meet him. 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.[28][29][30][31][32]

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.[33] Juror No. 12 pleaded the Fifth Amendment to "not further incriminate himself" for perjury.[34] The trial judge refused to consider or hold evidentiary hearings in these matters and the defendant’s request for a new trial was denied.[35]

Jon also asserts that there were inconsistencies in the victims’ testimonies.[36] During the trial, it was shown that the lead detective had destroyed evidence crucial to Jon’s case and had not taken statements from a number of alleged victims who asserted that Jon had never sexually assaulted them.[37][38]

Jon dismissed his defense lawyers during the penalty phase, as he believed that they were collaborating with the prosecution. Additionally, his defense lawyer’s daughter took a job with the D.A.'s office during the trial, while she was still working with Jon’s defense crew.[39]

During the New York case featuring almost the same witnesses and similar charges as the Los Angeles case, the New York District Attorney’s Office offered a "time served" plea on a single count, which Jon accepted. In exchange for his plea, prosecutors agreed to turn over crucial documents. Jon’s appeal in California argues that he had ineffective counsel there; the Manhattan documents indicate that the California lawyers never obtained vital police documents and correspondence showing his accusers were squaring their stories among themselves and with his civil lawyers.[40]

The Los Angeles trial showed that a rape kit turned out to be negative, with no assault findings.[41][42] Jon submitted to and passed a polygraph test regarding the rape charge for which he was convicted.[43]

Personal life[edit]

Jon is a nephew of Indian classical musician and playback singer K.J. Yesudas.[44] Jon's mother Shashi Abraham and his sister Sanjana Jon have urged the governments of the US and India to intervene and grant a new trial.[19]

Jon has been involved in charity projects such as Universe Aids awareness tour to India with his sister Sanjana, and with Michelle Rodriguez in the rescue of wild animals from abuse via "the Nature Sanctuary".[45][46]

Jon was named cultural ambassador of India for his contribution to fashion. He has won "Rising Star Award" for Fashion week of the Americas, "Designer of the Year" at Vancouver Fashion Week. 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.[47]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Anand Jon". Newsweek. 2006-12-24.
  2. ^ a b c d Leonard, Jack (2008-11-13). "Anand Jon Alexander Guilty of Rape". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 26 December 2008.
  3. ^ a b "Fashion designer Anand Jon Alexander avoids jail in New York sex assault case". NEW YORK DAILY NEWS. 2013-04-03.
  4. ^ Greenwald, David (March 9, 2020). "Anand Jon's Path to Freedom: A San Diego Meeting with Assemblymember Weber". www.davisvanguard.org.
  5. ^ "Anand Jon Alexander | US fashion designer gets 59 years to life sentence for rape". Smh.com.au. 2009-09-01. Retrieved 2010-05-02.
  6. ^ "Anand Jon". fashionmodeldirectory.com.
  7. ^ a b Richard Winton (March 20, 2007). "Designer is facing more sex charges". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 20 November 2012.
  8. ^ "PMc – MICHELLE RODRIGUEZ & ANAND JON Host Pre-Oscar Bash Featuring AJ JEANS ..." www.patrickmcmullan.com. Retrieved 2015-09-29.
  9. ^ a b Waxman, Sharon (2007-04-15). "The Designer Who Liked Models". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2015-09-29.
  10. ^ "Social Diary 8/17/04 – Nicky Hilton and Todd Meister were married". www.newyorksocialdiary.com. Retrieved 2015-09-29.
  11. ^ "Endgame: Anand Jon's Lawyers Fight for New Trial". L.A. Weekly. 2009-05-13.
  12. ^ "Notice of Sales of Securities". Security and Exchange Commission. Archived from the original on 2016-04-29. Retrieved 2017-08-27.
  13. ^ a b "US celebrity designer charged with rape". New Zealand Herald. 2007-03-15.
  14. ^ Winton, Richard (2007-03-20). "Designer is facing more sex charges". Los Angeles Times.
  15. ^ "Independent Media Center | www.indymedia.org | ((( i )))". www.indymedia.org. Archived from the original on 2015-09-30. Retrieved 2015-09-29.
  16. ^ "The Man Authorities Came to Frame". OPEN Magazine. 2012-02-11.
  17. ^ "Anand Jon acts as own attorney in sexual-assault case". Los Angeles Times. 2009-07-14.
  18. ^ "LA Fashion Designer Gets 59 Years to Life Sentence". The New York Times. Associated Press. August 31, 2009. Retrieved September 1, 2009.[dead link]
  19. ^ a b "Anand Jon gets 59 years for sex crimes", Chidanand Rajghatta, Times of India, September 9, 2009
  20. ^ a b "Juror's Flirting Imperils Rape Conviction". CBS News. 2009-07-04.
  21. ^ "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.
  22. ^ "Fashion Designer Anand Jon Convicted of 16 Counts of Sexual Abuse". NBC News Los Angeles. 2006-03-08.
  23. ^ "BREAKING NEWS: ANAND JON CONVICTED – LIFE IN PRISON". thewrap.com. 2008-11-13.
  24. ^ "Anand Jon juror tried to meet with defendant's sister before conviction, defense lawyers say". Los Angeles Times. 2009-07-05.
  25. ^ "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.
  26. ^ "Anand Jon juror tried to meet with defendant's sister before conviction, defense lawyers say". Los Angeles Times. 2009-07-05.
  27. ^ "Juror No. 12 tried to ask me out: Sanjana". The Times of India. 2009-09-03.
  28. ^ "Designer Convicted of Sexual Assault Seeks New Trial". NBC News Los Angeles. 2006-03-08. Archived from the original on 2015-07-09. Retrieved 2015-07-08.
  29. ^ "California Briefing / Los Angeles". Los Angeles Times. 2009-04-28.
  30. ^ "NEW QUESTIONS RAISED ABOUT ANAND JON TRIAL". L.A. Weekly. 2009-02-27.
  31. ^ "Crime of Fashion: No New Trial for Wayward Designer to Stars". CBS News. 2009-07-07.
  32. ^ "STAR-CROSSED AT STARBUCKS: STRANGE TWIST AT ANAND JON SENTENCING". L.A. Weekly. 2009-04-08.
  33. ^ "Prosecutors: Flirty juror no reason for new trial". Victoria Advocate. 2009-07-02.
  34. ^ "Juror takes 5th in probe of fashion designer trial". The San Diego Union Tribune. 2009-06-12.
  35. ^ "Judge Denies New Sex Assault Trial for Fashion Designer Anand Jon Alexander". Fox News. 2009-07-06.
  36. ^ "Defense targets designer's accusers". Los Angeles Times. 2008-11-05.
  37. ^ "Lead detective destroyed evidence crucial to Jon's case". Oneindia. 2008-08-21.
  38. ^ "New twists in Anand Jon case may prove his innocence". Oneindia. 2008-08-22.
  39. ^ "ANAND JON MAKES LAST STAND". L.A. Weekly. 2009-08-31.
  40. ^ "Designer rapist Anand Jon has 48 sex-attack counts dropped, still faces 54 years". NY Post. 2013-02-15.
  41. ^ "'Jon victim of racial discrimination' | IndiaPost". www.indiapost.com. 21 February 2013. Retrieved 2015-09-29.
  42. ^ "Runway to Rape: Rise and Fall of Anand Jon". ABC News. 2009-12-22. Retrieved 2015-09-29.
  43. ^ Mikulan, Steven (10 December 2008). "Anand Jon's Lie Detector Test". Retrieved 2015-09-29.
  44. ^ "Flashback of a rape accused – Page2 – Sunday TOI – Home – The Times of India". Timesofindia.indiatimes.com. 2007-03-18. Retrieved 2010-05-02.
  45. ^ "Anand Jon Celebrity Fashion Designer | Asiance Magazine". www.asiancemagazine.com. Archived from the original on 2015-09-23. Retrieved 2015-09-29.
  46. ^ "Tiger Skanda during Nature Santuary [sic] benefit hosted by Anand Jon and..." Retrieved 2015-09-29.
  47. ^ "Anand Jon Celebrity Fashion Designer". asiancemagazine.com. 2006-12-01. Archived from the original on 2015-09-23. Retrieved 2015-07-08.