Department 102 began filling with D.A. and media types before 9 a.m. today, in anticipation of Judge David Wesley handing down sentence to fashion designer Anand Jon Alexander. Anand Jon, as he is known professionally, was convicted in November of 16 counts of sexual assault against seven young and underage women. According to prosecutor Frances Young, Jon will not be elligible for parole until 67 years. Jon arrived from his prison cell at 9:35 a.m., dressed in a deep-charcoal suit, white shirt and red tie. His sister, Sanjana, matched this with a white dress and red shoulder wrap.

These kind of hearings typically get postponed and this was today's case. Five minutes later Judge Wesley appeared and immediately moved back the proceedings to give both sides time to consider a defense motion for a new trial. Such a new trial would need to be based on either compelling new evidence or a serious procedural error committed by the judge or prosecution. The fact that Judge Wesley ordered the two sides to begin a process of sharing discovery evidence suggests there are indeed new factual items to consider. There have also long been complaints among Jon's supporters of unfair play by the District Attorney's office, so it will be interesting to see if these figure into the next court date. Prosecutors Young and Mara McIlvain certainly looked grim as they assented to the sentencing postponement.

Judge Wesley will next convene court on this matter January 29, although he made it clear this meeting will merely be to hear a status report on the new-trial motion. And with that Jon returned to jail and his family members and trial supporters, along with reporters and pool cameramen, decamped. When they next return there should be more details on what could be a dramatic turn in a case already off the chart with surprises.

Anand Jon photo by AP

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