Convicted designer Anand Jon's family seeks justice from Obama
In India to garner support for convicted Indian-American designer Anand Jon, his mother and sister on Monday termed the sexual assault charges against him as "racist", and appealed to US President Barack Obama to intervene for "justice".india Updated: Mar 16, 2009 19:25 IST
In India to garner support for convicted Indian-American designer Anand Jon, his mother and sister on Monday termed the sexual assault charges against him as "racist", and appealed to US President Barack Obama to intervene for "justice".
"I hope President Obama understands the racial discrimination that we are going through, and appeal to him as well as the Indian government to intervene so that my brother gets justice," Jon's sister Sanjana told reporters in New Delhi.
"I just want to urge President Obama to look into the matter. My brother deserves a fresh and unbiased trial. If my brother does not get justice, I will fast until death," she said.
Sanjana recounted the details of the case as she was flanked by her mother Shashi Ebraham and a US-based model, Lauren Boylar, who said she is a witness in Jon's case.
The family is in India to gather support for Jon before an "important" April 1 hearing at a Los Angeles court on arguments that the 34-year-old designer deserves a retrial.
They plan to lead a protest march to the American embassy in New Delhi on Wednesday.
"We are specifically in New Delhi now because April 1. We have a very important hearing and we want the people in New Delhi, the Indian media to be aware of it so as to give an unbiased report unlike the American media which only publishes the prosecutor's version," Sanjana said.
Jon, who dressed celebrities like Janet Jackson and Paris Hilton, was convicted by the Los Angeles Superior Court in November of 16 criminal counts, including sexually assaulting some budding models.
Jon was arrested in the US March 6, 2007, on charges of rape and sexual harassment of more than a dozen models. He has been in jail for the last 24 months.
The charges were made when he was just 15 days away from making a deal for the launch of his high-end designer brand "AJ", according to the family.
He has come out clean in a lie detector polygraph test, while none of the plaintiff models has gone through the test, his family said.
"And top of all this, we have evidence of some of the girls alleging sexual assault on Anand, admitting on web chat to the prosecutor that they lied under oath," Sanjana said.
"Not just that, most of the girls, who alleged sexual assault, used to come over to our home, have dinners with the family and even travelled to India with us after the so-called incidents happened," said Ebraham.
"How is it possible that they behaved so normally with their molester and his family for so long and suddenly remember about the incident before a deal was to be made, which would have been a great boost to Anand's career," the mother asked.
Boylar said: "Anand is being racially discriminated. His is a case of prosecutorial misconduct."
"We are doing all we can because this is a case of an innocent Indian boy who has been wronged. We have more than a 100 witnesses like Lauren (Boylar) ready to testify that and they are eager to approach the American government with the same message," Sanjana said.
First Published: Mar 16, 2009 19:23 IST