Anand Jon Pleads Not Guilty to New Charges

Betwa Sharma/New York
Anand Jon Pleads Not Guilty to New Charges
India-born celebrity fashion designer Anand Jon Alexander has pleaded not guilty to dozens of new charges of sexually assaulting at least nine women and underage girls here between 2002 and 2006 after being jailed for 59 years by a Los Angeles court for similar crimes.

The hearing in New York is separate from the case against 36-year-old Alexander in California, which concluded in 2008 with the designer being convicted of sexually assaulting seven women and girls and receiving a sentence of 59 years life-imprisonment. The girls were as young as 14.

In 2007, Alexander had been charged in New York but the case was in standby until the California case concluded.

The accused allegedly systematically molested women between the ages of 15 and 26 by using drugs and the opportunity of modelling to lure women during the period between 2002 and 2006 in New York.

The prosecutors also introduced new charges on yesterday, stating that two women became physically helpless because of the drugs the accused had given them, and again two of his victims were under-age.

Wearing a white T-shirt, dark glasses and khaki pants, Alexander said nothing but "not guilty."

The New York charges could lead to 25 years in prison.

Alexander had maintained his innocence throughout the California case as well. His lawyers had claimed that many of women were lying about what happened to them.

Alexander was on his way up in the fashion industry when the charges against him surfaced, making an appearance on "America's Next Top Model" and working with celebrities like Paris Hilton.

Police began investigations in 2007 after a woman filed a complaint about being sexually assaulted in his apartment.
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