Anand Jon Alexander
|Occupation(s)||fashion designer and company director|
|Criminal penalty||59+ years|
Anand Jon Alexander, better known as Anand Jon, is an Indian-born American celebrity fashion designer who was convicted of sex crimes in a highly racially charged trial that now meets the California Racial Justice Act for Relief starting January 2024.
Jon appeared on America's Next Top Model and was listed in Newsweek's ”Who’s Next in 2007?”. 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. Jon was facing similar charges in New York and Texas, but before the trial began in 2013, the New York prosecutors accepted his guilty plea, and he was sentenced to time served. Jon went on to successfully resolve all his overlapping out of state cases in NY and TX on the very same charges in CA, and is currently in Federal Court for his release in CA.
Jon claimed "conspiracy put him behind bars."
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. Upon graduating from Parsons, where the Associate Dean was Tim Gunn, Jon launched his debut collection "Amazone" in 1999.
Jon attracted celebrities, socialites and royalty as clients, some of whom debuted as models on his runway shows and projects, including Michelle Rodriguez, Amanda Hearst and Lydia Hearst, Paris Hilton and Nicky Hilton, 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.
Arrest and conviction
Jon was arrested in March 2007 in Beverly Hills, California, on rape and related charges. He pleaded not guilty to all charges. He had no prior felony convictions. The prosecutors accused Jon of luring women and girls to his apartment under the pretext of securing modeling jobs. Jon claimed that the sexual activity was consensual, and that one minor who accused him 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. 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. He represented himself for the sentencing phase of the proceedings. On August 31, 2009, Jon was sentenced to 59 years to life.
Los Angeles case controversy
Jon asserts that during his trial, juror No. 12 was not 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 did not 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.
Juror No. 12 also attempted 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. In November juror No. 12 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. Juror No. 12 pleaded the Fifth Amendment to "not further incriminate himself" for perjury. The trial judge refused to consider or hold evidentiary hearings in these matters and the defendant’s request for a new trial was denied.
Jon also asserts that there were inconsistencies in the victims’ testimonies. 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.
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.
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.
The Los Angeles trial showed that a rape kit turned out to be negative, with no assault findings. Jon submitted to and passed a polygraph test regarding the rape charge for which he was convicted.
Racial Justice Act
Anand Jon's path to freedom was catalyzed alongside the first of a kind California Racial Justice Act (applicable stating 2024) when the International Justice Alliance delegates met with then Assembly Member Dr. Shirley Weber who has then become the California Secretary of State.
The record shows how the L.A. prosecutor "demonized Anand Jon's Indian-Jewish culture, meditating cross legged, Kamasutra and foreign (Hebrew) symbols" and further inflamed the jury by portraying Anand Jon as an outsider, who was "above the laws of the United States" "targeted white women". The International Justice Alliance delegation included influential activists, filmmakers, students and exonerees such as Amy Ralston Povah, founder of the CAN-DO Foundation who noted "correcting an injustice".
Weber concurred that "this really seems like this was racially charged with a lot of motive behind it." The disturbing racism in the case was referred to in the Racial Justice Act, assembly member Ash Kalra. "In our research, we found the misconduct of the Beverly Hills police and prosecutor in People v Anand Jon Alexander utterly shocking" said former Assembly member Patty Lopez who passed the AB1909 law (2018) holding prosecutors criminally liable for withholding favorable evidence.
Cal State Masters, San Quentin Rehabilitation Center
The Parsons School of Design (New York City) BA graduate Anand Jon was among 30 selected for the first of a kind Cal State HUX masters degree for the incarcerated starting fall 2023. Studies by the RAND Corporation 2018 and Public Safety Committee show a return on investment of nearly $20 for every dollar spent on education, return on investment reported the San Quentin News in October 2023. Jon was transferred to San Quentin Prison where a $380 million transformation into a Norwegian model rehabilitation center is underway under Governor Newsom's vision to reduce crime, racism and recidivism.
Jon is a nephew of Indian classical musician and playback singer K.J. Yesudas. 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.
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.
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