New Delhi: Following the dropping of 48 of the 49 charges against Indian-born fashion designer Anand Jon Alexander by the New York District Attorney's office, his family says it only goes on to prove that Anand Jon was a victim of vindictiveness, jealousy and a conspiracy against him and they now want the Indian government to seek his custody to bring him back to the country.
At a press conference in New Delhi today, Anand's sister Sanjana and mother Shashi Abraham pleaded to the government to intervene in the case and enable bringing him back.
"It is my request to Sonia Gandhi and the Indian government to see the 48 counts on which my brother has been acquitted and see the evidence of his innocence. We request them to ask the US government questions," Sanjana said.
In a bargain plea with the NYDA, Anand, who was initially charged with allegations of rape, drugging and mafia death threats, admitted to one count of criminal sexual act -- that of giving oral sex in 2005 to an adult female. In California, Jon has already been convicted of molesting aspiring models and is serving 59 years to life in a California jail, in a similar case. In addition, he also has similar charges against him in Texas. In New York, a dozen women initially accused him of sexual molestation. That figure dropped down to three.
While the family says the absolving of 48 charges against him proves that he did not rape anyone and that he was framed, prosecutors said they agreed to the deal "to spare the victims from having to testify at multiple proceedings" and because he is already serving substantial prison time, a New York Post report quoted Additional District Attorney Maxine Rosenthal as having said.
Anand's mother, Abraham, said the family was pressured to take a bargain plea and accepting it was a strategic admission and not one of guilt. "They pressured us to take it and we had to take it. We had no choice. Only if we took the plea would be be able to get our hands on the evidence to prove Anand's innocence," she said, adding, "We want the government of India to make a very strong point and ask for Anand to be sent back to India. Swaraj is his birthright and he has to come back here."
The family hopes that with this acquittal by the NYDA and evidence they receive, they will be able to overturn the California conviction.
"Considering that the initial 49 charges included allegations of rape, drugging and mafia death threats, the settlement of one conviction involving Mr. (Anand Jon) Alexander's giving oral sex to an adult female is acceptable," defense lawyer Angelyn Gates said in a written statement, according to the New York Post report.
Anand graduated in 1998 from Parsons The New School for design in 1998, launched a fashion line in 1999 and was featured on "America's Next Top Model". He also worked with such celebrities like Paris Hilton and Mary J Blige and was among Newsweek's top 20 up-and-coming players in various areas, in 2006.
In 2007, allegations of sexual assault against him began making rounds and he was arrested and later convicted in Los Angeles in 2008 for sexually assaulting seven females, including some as young as 14.
Jon's attorney said he admitted to the crime in order to obtain from the NYDA evidence to "effectively overturn his California conviction". "We've accomplished what we wanted, which was to obtain records," said Jon lawyer Kimberly Summers in New York Post.
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Updated Date: Feb 18, 2013 20:23:43 IST