After hearing both sides forcefully argue their cases for or against granting fashion designer Anand Jon a new trial this morning, Superior Court Judge David Wesley delivered his decision at 12:15 p.m.: The motion for a new trial is denied. Further, he has just cited Sanjana Jon Alexander and juror Alvin Dymally for contempt of court for their contact with each other during Jon's trial. A sentencing hearing has been set for August 31. Sanjana has risen and asked the judge permission to address the court but has been told to sit down.
As the arguments of deputy district attorney Frances Young and defense attorneys Leonard Levine and Donald Marks wore on earlier, it seemed as though Wesley was resistant to the idea of giving a second chance to Jon, who'd been convicted last November of 15 counts of sexual assault and a single count of rape. Yet the defense had a seemingly compelling argument: Toward the end of the 2008 trial, a rogue juror had reached out to Jon's sister, Sanjana Alexander, with apparently amorous intentions, with an offer to "help" her brother.
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That juror, Alvin Dymally, was later caught in an apparent lie on the witness stand during a hearing this past spring. The defense maintained that at the very least Dymally's actions had forfeited the jury's claim to have been composed of 12 impartial members. More suggestively, Levine claimed that when Sanjana Alexander rejected Dymally's entreaties, he avenged himself by voting to convict Anand Jon.