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By
AFP
Published
Nov 21, 2007
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New York prosecutors indict Indian-born designer on rape charges

By
AFP
Published
Nov 21, 2007

NEW YORK, Nov 21, 2007 (AFP) - New York prosecutors said Wednesday they have issued an arrest warrant and 40-count indictment against an Indian-born celebrity fashion designer being held in California on sexual assault charges.


Anand Jon - Photo : AFP

Barbara Thompson, a spokeswoman for the Manhattan district attorney's office, said that Anand Jon Alexander faced charges in New York of rape, assault, criminal sexual acts and sexual abuse.

Although the indictment has yet to be made public, it details sexual assault charges against nine alleged victims, Thompson said. Alexander has already been charged in California of sexually assaulting 20 women aged between 14 and 27.

The alleged assaults occurred between late 2002 and March this year, when Alexander was arrested after a woman alleged that she was sexually assaulted by the designer at this Beverly Hills apartment, California authorities said.

"We've sent a warrant and a copy of the indictment to Los Angeles, which is where the defendant is being held, just so that the California authorities realize that he's been indicted in New York," Thompson said.

"It's to ensure that if he were to make bail in California that he'll be returned to New York so that New York could initiate its proceedings."

Prosecutors have accused Alexander of setting up a fashion design studio in Beverly Hills to lure models and sexually assault them. The charges carry a maximum sentence of life in prison.

The New York-based designer, who is also being investigated in Texas and Massachusetts, pleaded not guilty at a hearing in California in April.

Alexander graduated from the prestigious Parsons School of Design and launched his own label at New York Fashion Week in 1999.

He is reported to have dressed celebrities such as Hilton hotel heiresses Paris and Nicky Hilton, Mary J. Blige and Norah Jones.

According to Alexander's website, he is the winner of various fashion awards including a 2002 People's Choice "Best New Designer" prize.

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