Anand Jon Alexander
Anand Jon Alexander
November 28, 1976
|Occupation||fashion designer and company director|
|Criminal penalty||59+ years|
Anand Jon Alexander (born November 28, 1976), also known as Anand Jon is an Indian-born American celebrity fashion designer who appeared on America's Next Top Model and was listed in Newsweek's ”Who’s Next in 2007?”. In November 2008, Anand Jon was convicted at the Los Angeles court Court on one count of rape and multiple counts of lesser sexual offenses. He was sentenced to 59 years to life. Anand Jon was facing similar charges in New York, but before the trial began in 2013, the New York prosecutors had independently dismissed almost all the charges in their case which featured almost the same witnesses and charges as the overlapping Los Angeles case. Anand Jon subsequently accepted a "time served" plea for one of the initial 49 counts in exchange for New York prosecutors turning over materials he has since proceeded to use in a Writ of Habeas Corpus seeking relief from his California convictions.
Anand Jon was born in Kerala, India into a Hindu-Jewish-Christian background. At 16, he won a scholarship to the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, Florida and moved to United States. Anand Jon moved to New York and joined Parsons The New School for Design making the transition from fine art to fashion. Parsons alumni include Marc Jacobs, Tom Ford and Donna Karan for whom Anand Jon interned. Upon graduating from Parsons under the mentorship of his Associate Dean, Tim Gunn of Project Runway TV fame, Anand Jon launched his debut collection "Amazone" in 1999. He was the first Indian to debut at 7th of sixth New York Fashion Week.
As the Anand Jon brand rapidly gained popularity with his Kama Sutra Indo chic fusions, he was sponsored by Giorgio Armani. Anand Jon also credits Gianni Versace for his start in the fashion world.
Anand Jon lifestyle and design attracted high-profile celebrities, socialites and royalty as clients. He became known as an "it girl" maker as many of his muses debuted on his runway shows and projects including Michelle Rodriguez, Amanda Hearst and Lydia Hearst, Paris Hilton and Nicky Hilton, Ivanka Trump, Marla Maples, Elizabeth Jagger  and others. "If you were a wannabe, he was the perfect tailcoat to ride on" stated Catherine Saxton, a longtime fashion publicist in New York.
He designed clothes for celebrities including Mary J Blige, Paris Hilton and Janet Jackson. In 2006 Anand Jon founded his own denim-design company Jeanisis Fashion Inc. and the same year received capitalization from the Joseph Stevens & Co. Inc. investment firm. Anand Jon was scheduled to introduce his Atomize Collection during the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at Smashbox Studios in March 2007.
Arrest and conviction
Anand Jon was arrested in March 2007 in Beverly Hills, California on rape and related charges. He pleaded not guilty to all charges. Anand Jon had no prior history of violence and no felony convictions.
The prosecutors accused Anand Jon of luring women and girls to his apartment under the pretext of securing modeling jobs. His defense said that the sexual activity was consensual, and that one minor who accused Anand Jon of rape had lied about her age.
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. He was scheduled to be sentenced on January 13, 2009.
Although many were concerned about the miscarriage of justice in the Anand Jon Alexander case, in July 2009 the judge denied a request for a new trial. Anand Jon dismissed his attorneys before his sentencing as he suspected that they were in collaboration with the prosecutors. He asked for and was granted permission to represent himself for the sentencing phase of the proceedings. On August 31, 2009, Anand Jon was sentenced to 59 years to life.
Los Angeles case controversy
One of those irregularities is related to juror No. 12. During the trial he violated his oath on several occasions and was referred to by Anand Jon’s lawyers as hardly an impartial juror. 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. 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. 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. Although the jury foreman had requested that juror No. 12 be removed for refusal to deliberate, it was denied by Judge Wesley.
Another controversy regarding juror No. 12 was his attempt to initiate contact with the defendant's sister, Sanjana. 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. It was later pointed out by Anand Jon’s team of lawyers that in November juror No. 12 had changed his vote from "not guilty" to "guilty" after the defendant's sister refused to meet him. 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.
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.
The trial judge refused to consider or hold evidentiary hearings in these matters and the defendant’s request for a new trial was denied.
Another controversy connected to the Los Angeles trial was the show of inconsistencies in the victims’ stories and the use of false testimonies. 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 Anand Jon had never sexually assaulted them.
Anand Jon dismissed his team of defense lawyers during the penalty phase, as he believed that they were collaborating with the prosecution. Additionally, defense lawyer’s daughter Elizabeth took a job with the D.A.'s office during the trial, while she was still working with Anand Jon’s defense crew.
The Los Angeles trial resulted in a mixed outcome of guilty, not guilty and hung verdicts. Some prosecution witnesses had sued Anand Jon civilly or gotten civil attorneys such as Gloria Allred.
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 dropped almost all of the charges against Anand Jon. The New York prosecution offered a "time served" plea on a single count, which Anand Jon accepted. 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. Anand Jon’s appeal argues that he had ineffective counsel in California; 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 civil lawyers.
The Los Angeles trial itself showed there was a lack of physical evidence including the sole rape kit turning out to be negative, with no assault findings. To further prove his innocence, Anand Jon submitted to and passed a polygraph test regarding the rape charge for which he was convicted. The high profile case continues to be controversial due to the questionable integrity of the trial, as well as new evidence and changes of circumstances that have surfaced concerning the New York trial's outcome and writ proceedings in the California case.
Anand Jon is a nephew of Indian classical musician and playback singer, K.J. Yesudas. Anand Jon’s mother Shashi Abraham and his sister Sanjana Jon are successful businesswomen and active advocates to his freedom, urging the Governments of the USA and India to intervene and grant a new trial.
Anand Jon has been actively involved in numerous charity projects 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".
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 has won "Rising Star Award" for Fashion week of the Americas, "Designer of the Year" at Vancouver Fashion Week. Anand Jon 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.
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