Anand Jon Rape Trial Nears
A semen-stained comforter, a tampon and a camera. These were some of the items listed on a Beverly Hills P.D. search warrant when officers raided fashion designer Anand Jon's pad in March, 2007. Later that year Jon was charged with a list of offenses more often associated with spring break at Lake Havasu than evenings on staid North Palm Drive: forcible rape, lewd acts upon a child, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, sexual battery by restraint and attempted forcible oral copulation.
Jon originally faced 59 such charges, tied to 20 women who came forward to claim that between 2000 and 2007 he’d used his Web site to lure them from across the country to Los Angeles, with the promise of introducing them to the fashion industry. This week, however, the District Attorney’s office had 30 of the counts stricken from the original indictment, while holding out the possibility of refiling any of them at a later date.
The Indian-born Jon made a name for himself by designing clothes for such celebrities as Paris Hilton and Mary J. Blige, and also enjoys a reputation as a hard-partier. This morning Jon’s attorneys, Leonard Levine and Donald Marks, presented motions to bar speculative witness testimony regarding possible drug-usage at Jon’s home, and to have the two BHPD warrants suppressed. The second request was made on the grounds that one cop’s labeling of Jon as a “sexual predator” on the initial warrant had allowed two police visits to Jon’s condo to become scavenger hunts in which officers took away the designer’s computers. Judge David S. Wesley rejected the motions, claiming that even without Jon’s predator tag, an alleged victim’s description of the comforter, tampon and other items permitted a comprehensive search of Jon’s home.
Jon, 34, remains in custody in county jail and faces a potential life sentence if convicted on all charges. He appeared in court wearing a dark chalk-striped suit, his hair pulled into a short ponytail. More pretrial motions will be filed next week. Jury selection is expected to be completed by September 9, with opening statements scheduled three days later, followed by the first prosecution witness’ testimony September 15.
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