It’s a bit of an understatement to say that India-born celebrity designer Anand Jon Alexander is having a very bad year.
In March of this year, the 33-year-old Alexander was arraigned on multiple charges of sexual assault against three women. As of yesterday, after hearing nine days of testimony from 23 different witnesses, a grand jury indicted him on 59 charges of sexual assault.
Said charges include forcible rape, lewd acts upon a child, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, sexual battery by restraint, possession of child pornography, oral copulation by force or fear, and sodomy. The number of alleged victims now stands at 20, all between the ages of 14 and 27 – seven from California, the rest from eight different states and two foreign countries. If convicted on all charges, which includes 54 felonies and five misdemeanors, Alexander faces life in prison. And that’s not counting pending investigations in New York, Massachusetts and Texas.
Alexander pleaded not guilty to the earlier charges and will likely do the same on October 25 when he re-appears in the LA County Superior Court for arraignment on the new charges. Prosecutors have asked that his bail be set at $5.1 million; it was previously set at $1.3 million, then upped to $2.5 million although Alexander remained behind bars as he was judged to be a flight risk.
In his defense, Alexander’s lawyers initially alleged a conspiracy. Their new theory is that some of the women are trying to seek fame.
Alexander’s lawyer, Anthony Brooklier, said in some of the cases, the victims either kept in contact or met with the fashion designer after the crimes supposedly occurred. “We think this is made up of whole cloth, the entire case,” Brooklier said Thursday outside court.
Alexander’s greatest support comes from his younger sister Sanjana Jon, who’s also a fashion designer, and mother Shashi Abraham. Jon recently held a fashion show at the Beverly Hilton that she dedicated to “supporting global independence, civil rights and Anand Jon.” Attendees included Donald Trump-ex Marla Maples, Terry McAuliffe, and LA Mayor Antonio Villagairosa. News of the event invited comments such as:
That’s great, supporting global independence, civil rights, and my accused rapist brother. What a gal she is!
In fact, one of the things that strikes me as unique about this case is that Alexander, who attended the Parsons School of Design in New York (dean Tim Gunn co-hosts Project Runway with Heidi Klum) and stands accused of meeting a number of his alleged victims online, has attracted the attention of a number people who claim to know him personally from either Los Angeles or New York.
And for the most part, none of them seem to have a nice word to say about him, describing him as “weird” or “creepy”, a few also allege misconduct. But his family can take comfort from posters such as the one below from TMZ:
I have trouble imagining him raping someone because he’s so small in stature.
Also, he was very influenced by his mother and sister, Sanjai, who are very into Indian stuff and astronomy charts and all the weird planning of events on this day and this hour for success, etc.
There you have it – he’s too puny to rape anybody! Plus, his mother and sister are very into “Indian stuff”.
That last lies at the heart of another publication’s defense of Alexander. IndiaPost is convinced that the charges stem from racial discrimination and are disgusted by the Indian community’s lack of support for him:
Charges filed in alleged rape cases are somewhat similar to a freeway chase.
Yes, bizarre as it may sound, the pattern is similar. When a car chase suspect is apprehended he faces multiple charges jumping a red light, running a stop sign, illegal lane change, speeding, rash driving, reckless driving etc. Likewise in an alleged rape case charges are filed on a similar basis touching the alleged victim different times on different parts of the alleged victim’s body. Each part and each time entails a count/ charge. It is bizarre and makes one really question the very basis of this incredibly strange and impossible to comprehend legal system.
It’s an interesting take. In fact, it’s a very interesting article that tells us all about Anand Jon Alexander, “the little Ravi Verma” of a noble Namboodiri Brahmin family from Kerala. “Alexander”, of course, being the name of a very ancient Kerala Brahmin family.
No word yet on when this case will head to court.