Defense lawyers for L.A. fashion designer Anand Jon Alexander, who is accused by nine young women of committing sexual assaults against them, continued their case this morning by calling Beverly Hills cop Nicole Cranham to the stand. The attorneys sought to show that three of Jon’s accusers (Britny O and background witnesses Holly G and Janice Z) neglected to tell Cranham of damaging information when the detective interviewed them in 2007.
Specifically, Jon’s lawyer’s pointed out that Britny complained to Cranham that she and Janice had received a parking ticket while spending the night at Jon’s North Palm Drive pad – but not that Britny had been anally raped. Nor had Holly mentioned that she suspected she’d imbibed a date-rape drug at Jon’s Manhattan apartment. It was only months after her interviews with Cranham that Britny told a grand jury that Jon had sodomized, and when Holly claimed Jon had poured her a suspiciously powerful cocktail.
One recurring motif in this trial has been the role played by MySpace and other social networking Web sites as the initial meeting place for Jon and the teenaged girls who aspired to modeling careers. While the prosecution claims Jon offered to promote these careers if the women visited him in Beverly Hills or at his New York studio, and dazzled them with a Web site touting his media reputation, the defense has repeatedly shown screenshots of the girls’ own pages to reveal them in sexy, come-hither poses.
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In yet another sign of this trial’s supercharged sexual content, it was revealed today that even Detective Cranham operated her own sexy MySpace account – to seek out Jon’s alleged victims. Under the name “Tiffer,” the B.H. cop used a photograph of a provocatively dressed young woman who listed her age as 16 and home as North Carolina. What is even more interesting is that others in the department used – and, apparently, still use -- the Tiffer account to attract child pornographers and sexual predators. (Tiffer is now 17 – will she have to retire from the force next year?)
Cranham, herself a young woman who is in the late stages of pregnancy, struck a forlorn figure on the witness stand as deputy D.A.s Frances Young and Mara McIlvain picked apart her police work on the case, repeatedly getting Cranham to admit that she didn’t tape-record most of her interviews and tended to talk to the alleged victims over the phone rather than in person – the implication being that Britny, Janice and Holly may have mentioned critical information to Cranham that she neglected to include in her reports. Young also repeatedly brought up the fact that Cranham now works as an accident investigator in the traffic division, although the former detective denied her transfer was a demotion for her performance on the Jon case.
“Is it safe to say,” Young asked, “that you didn’t go beyond the bare minimum to interview these three girls?”
All Cranham could do was answer that she had done what had been asked of her.