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Anand Jon now faces 25 years to life in New York

By George Joseph
February 18, 2010 02:05 IST
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The Manhattan, New York, district attorney charged fashion designer Anand Jon with 40 counts including multiple charges involving nine victims whose names were not revealed.

The charges -- rape, criminal sexual act, sexual abuse, aggravated sexual abuse, assault, promoting a sexual performance by a child, victim or witness intimidation, and unlawful imprisonment -- carry a potential sentence of 25 years to life.

Jon, 36, is serving 59 years to life in Los Angeles for one count of forcible rape, lewd acts upon a child, forcible oral copulation, sexual battery, using minors for sex acts, possession of child pornography, and other related crimes, involving seven women. Any sentences he earns in New York must be served after he completes his West Coast time. Jon has filed an appeal against the verdict.

He was extradited to New York and arraigned. He is scheduled to be back in court on February 16.

Jon pleaded not guilty and the defence said they would vigorously fight the case. The alleged crimes occurred between December 2002 and September 2006. Jon's lawyer did not ask for bail since he is technically a prisoner in Los Angeles.

The prosecution charged that Jon lured girls offering modeling jobs before abusing them. The prosecution also accused that he drugged two women before abusing them and threatened a teenager. There were no charges of drugging the victims in California. His lawyer argued many of the women lied to get revenge against him after they did not get modeling jobs.

Jon's sister Sanjana Abraham and mother Shashi Abraham have mounted an international campaign to free Jon saying that he is a victim of vendetta by the models.

They alleged misconduct by the prosecution in Los Angeles.

Most of the accusers in New York are the same women who came forward against him in Los Angeles, Sanjana said earlier.

The same women also filed cases in other cities also, she said.

Jon faces similar charges in Houston and Dallas, Texas, and is under investigation in Massachusetts and Florida.

Jon, who was first arrested on March 6, 2007, was released from the Los Angeles county jail April 2. He was again arrested in June 2007 and has been in jail ever since. Jon's family arrived in the US in the early 1990s.

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George Joseph in New York
India Abroad