An up-and-coming fashion designer who has worked with A-list celebrities has been convicted 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 on Nov. 13 found Anand Jon Alexander, once featured on “America's Next Top Model,” guilty of 14 felonies, including forcible rape, and two misdemeanors. Authorities said his victims ranged in age from 14 to 21.
The 34-year-old designer 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.
Several people in the courtroom gasped as the verdicts were read, but Alexander showed no emotion. The 34-year-old designer wore a light gray suit and yellow tie, his black hair pulled back in a ponytail. He nodded grimly toward supporters before he was led away by sheriff's deputies.
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He is under indictment in New York on similar charges involving nine women and is under investigation by authorities in Texas and Massachusetts.
Alexander's attorneys maintained he was innocent, saying that there was a lack of physical evidence and that the women lied in court and sought revenge.
Defense attorney Larry Levine said he would appeal. “This case is not over by a long shot,” Levine told reporters outside court. “For now, we are disappointed.”