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LOS ANGELES: India-born fashion designer Anand Jon, convicted for sexually assaulting upcoming models, lost his appeal for a fresh trial after a court here dismissed the request sought on grounds that a juror “improperly” contacted his sister.
The Los Angeles County judge ruled that the juror’s contact with the defendant’s sister before the verdict did not prevent the designer from getting a fair trial.
Defence lawyers alleged that juror Alvin Dymally reached out to Jon’s sister Sanjana Jon twice as the trial was ending, possibly seeking a date, and then voting for a conviction after she refused to meet him alone, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Jon (35) was convicted on 16 counts of rape and other charges last year after allegations that he lured aspiring models to Los Angeles and sexually assaulted them.
After the ruling, prosecutors immediately filed a sentencing memorandum in which they asked that Jon be imprisoned for the maximum possible under the law — three terms of 53 years and six months to life, AP said.
Los Angeles Times quoted a tearful Ms. Jon as telling journalists outside the court: “It is a travesty of justice. ... I believed in the justice system. I did not go meet up alone with him. If I had, this today wouldn’t be happening.”Sister confronts juror
Ms. Jon confronted Mr. Dymally, a Los Angeles building inspector, after the verdict was pronounced. “It’s our lives you’re playing with,” she told him. “You know the truth.” The juror left in silence.
Ms. Jon, along with her mother, had been to New Delhi to urge the Indian government to intervene in the case.
. Seen as a rising talent in the fashion industry, the Beverly Hills designer worked with celebrities like Paris Hilton and Mary J. Blige before his arrest in 2007.
Mr. Dymally had insisted that his contact with Ms. Jon came after the trial.
According to a transcript filed by the prosecutors, the phone recording of their conversation showed that the juror complimented Ms. Jon several times, telling her, “I think that you’re really sexy,” and suggesting they meet afterward. “Definitely, we will,” Ms. Jon replied.
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