LA Fashion Designer Gets 59 Years to Life Sentence

Greg Risling, Yahoo! News, September 1, 2009

Fashion designer Anand Jon Alexander was sentenced Monday to 59 years to life in prison for sexually assaulting aspiring models he lured to Los Angeles.

Alexander, 35, showed no reaction as Superior Court Judge David Wesley said Alexander should be incarcerated as long as possible for preying upon young girls and women. Alexander was convicted in November of 14 counts including forcible rape. He was found not guilty of four felonies, and jurors could not reach a verdict on three counts.

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The sentencing capped a tumultuous, exhausting post-verdict saga that included allegations of juror tampering by his sister, Sanjana, juror misconduct and Alexander’s decision to represent himself. Alexander also lost a bid for a new trial earlier Monday, claiming there was a conspiracy among law enforcement to convict him.

The most striking image came as a bevy of beautiful women who said Alexander sexually assaulted them filled a jury box. The 13 women cried as Wesley recounted some of the crimes and they held hands as the sentence was read. One had mascara running down her face; another shook her head in disgust at Alexander.

Three of the women spoke, each telling a packed courtroom how Alexander had robbed them of their innocence and their formative years.

“I was 14. You took my adolescence, my trust, my dream and completely manipulated them for your sexual desires,” said one of the women. {snip}

“It sickens me that a grown man can do such a thing to a girl,” the now 17-year-old girl said. “A girl who was naive and had the belief that all people were good. And you took that to your advantage.”

Prosecutors said Alexander often found women online, baited them with promises of glamorous photo shoots and other modeling work, only to fondle or rape them at his Beverly Hills apartment.

“I have a constant reminder of the day that I, the biggest daddy’s girl in the world, had to tell my dad that I had been raped by this person,” said another woman, now 21. Alexander was convicted of raping her in March 2007.

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Alexander, wearing a dark suit with his long black hair tied in a ponytail, put on a pair of black-rimmed glasses but otherwise showed no emotion. It was a stark contrast to earlier in the day when he argued a motion for a new trial, even breaking down into tears at one point.

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Wesley has already turned down a previous motion for a new trial after it was discovered that juror Alvin Dymally had contacted Alexander’s sister Sanjana. Wesley found both in contempt of court after determining Dymally appeared to want a romantic relationship with her when he spoke to her by phone twice during the trial and offered his help.

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Beverly Hills police began investigating Alexander in March 2007 when a woman reported she had been sexually assaulted in his apartment.

During the trial, prosecutors relied heavily on the testimony from women who made the accusations against Alexander. Defense attorneys argued many of women were lying about what happened to them and sought revenge against Alexander when they didn’t get modeling jobs. Alexander has maintained his innocence.

Alexander also faces similar charges in New York and Texas, prosecutors said.

Born in India, Alexander graduated from the Parsons School of Design in New York and launched a fashion line in 1999.

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