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Celeb designer charged with more sex crimes

A celebrity fashion designer already charged with sexually assaulting two women and a 15-year-old girl has been accused of attacks on four additional victims, prosecutors said Monday.
/ Source: Reuters

A celebrity fashion designer already charged with sexually assaulting two women and a 15-year-old girl has been accused of attacks on four additional victims, prosecutors said Monday.

Indian-born designer Anand Jon Alexander, 33, is now charged with 20 counts of various sexual assaults on five women and two girls, all with ties to the fashion industry, Los Angeles County District Attorney spokeswoman Jane Robison said.

“These are serious charges,” Robison told Reuters. “Our prosecutor in court this morning said not only is there an ongoing investigation in L.A., there is also one in New York.”

Alexander, who goes by Anand Jon, has appeared on “America’s Next Top Model” and was named by Newsweek magazine in its list of people to watch in 2007, was arrested earlier this month at his Beverly Hills home.

He was initially charged with rape, sexual battery, lewd acts on a minor and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

The new counts, which were filed during a brief hearing in Los Angeles Superior Court, add various sexual assaults, including lewd acts and rape, allegedly committed against three more women and a 17-year-old girl, Robison said.

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At the hearing, Superior Court Judge Eldon Fox declined both a defense request to lower Alexander’s $1.3 million bail and a bid by prosecutors to have it raised. Fox scheduled an arraignment for April 4.

Alexander’s attorney, Ronald Richards, could not immediately be reached for comment after the hearing but has said his client “vehemently” denies the charges. Richards has suggested the sex was consensual and that the women had falsely accused Alexander because he did not make them famous.

According to a December profile of Alexander in Newsweek, the designer has dressed such celebrities as Paris Hilton and Janet Jackson, has plans to launch a new line of jeans, and was developing a reality TV show about his life.