An Indian-born fashion designer who has worked with A-list celebrities was convicted on Thursday of sexually assaulting seven girls and women, some of them aspiring models lured to Los Angeles with promises of jobs and stays at luxury hotels.
After nearly two weeks of deliberation, a jury found Anand Jon Alexander, 34, once featured on America’s Next Top Model guilty of 14 felonies, including forcible rape, and two misdemeanours.
He was convicted of forcible rape, multiple counts of committing a lewd act on a child, attempted forcible oral copulation, and attempted sexual assault.
Prosecutors described Jon as a “paedophile masquerading as a fashion designer.”Authorities said his victims ranged in ages 14 to 21. He faces a mandatory life sentence because the jury found he had committed multiple forceful acts against multiple victims. He must serve 67 years before he is eligible for parole, meaning he will probably spend the rest of his life in prison.
Jon’s attorneys maintained there was a lack of physical evidence and that the women lied in court and sought revenge. Defence attorney Larry Levine said he would appeal. Sentencing is set for January.
Before his arrest last year, Alexander was touted by Newsweek as a person to watch.
His website lists dozens of celebrity A-listers as clients, including Paris Hilton and singer Mary J Blige.