Assault Charges Filed Against Designer

Thursday, October 4th 2007, 1:16 pm
By: News On 6

LOS ANGELES (AP) Celebrity fashion designer Anand Jon Alexander was indicted on 59 counts of sexual assault in a move prosecutors said Thursday would keep his accusers from having to testify at a preliminary hearing.

Prosecutors previously charged Anand Jon Alexander with more than 40 felony and misdemeanor counts involving 18 victims that included rape, sexual battery and committing a lewd act on a child. Anand Jon Alexander pleaded not guilty to the earlier charges.

The indictment, unsealed Thursday, added two more victims to the original case, bringing the total number of victims to 20, and said the crimes targeted women and girls from 15 to 27 between November 2002 and March 2007.

Designer Anand Jon Alexander, 33, is suspected of meeting women on the Internet then assaulting them when they visited with him about modeling opportunities.

His defense has claimed some of the women made the allegations 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 alleged crimes occurred.

``We think this is made up of whole cloth, the entire case,'' Anthony Brooklier said Thursday outside of court.

Anand Jon Alexander was arrested in March at his Beverly Hills apartment. Bail was previously set at $1.3 million but Alexander remaned in custody.

He was in court Thursday when Superior Court Judge David Wesley ordered him held without bail pending an October 25 hearing. Prosecutors had asked for bail to be set at $5.1 million.

``One of the reasons in seeking the indictment is that it speeds up the process and avoids a preliminary hearing,'' said Jane Robison, a spokeswoman for the district attorney's office. ``The nature of the charges allows victims not to testify twice.''

Three arrest warrants also have been issued for Anand Jon Alexander in Dallas County, Texas, where authorities said they plan to seek indictments for sexual assault and extradite Alexander after his California case concludes.

Criminal investigations are also under way in New York and Massachusetts.