"Excuse me, can you please move down and make room?" the young woman asked her neighbors in the packed courtroom. "We have a very famous lawyer here." By that she meant Gloria Allred, who had just arrived at 9 a.m., the time scheduled for Superior Court Judge David Wesley to either sentence celebrity fashion designer Anand Jon in Department 102, or grant him a new trial. Jon, whose full name is Anand Jon Alexander, was convicted last November of 16 counts of sexual assault committed against a group of young or under-aged women who had been drawn to him by the promise of advancement in the fashion world or for simple companionship. Since July Jon has been representing himself as his own attorney.
Judge Wesley opened court at 9:10 a.m. He is now dealing with Jon's motion for a new trial based on what he claims is new evidence, including juror misconduct and prosecutorial misconduct. Apparently Jon filed some papers in support of the motion earlier this morning. There's now some delaying as Jon's assistant, his brother-in-law Richard Bernard Zera, collates some papers and readies a projection-screen display.
9:17 a.m.: Jon asks Wesley if the judge will grant him a new trial if Jon can prove he received an unfair trial. Wesley says, "Let's see what your evidence proves."
Jon now suggests he is a victim of racial prejudice. "In March, 2007," he says of his Beverly Hills arrest, "I found out what it means to be brown in the USA. I was called a brown sand nigger." Jon calls the presentation he is about to make his last stand.
Jon is now claiming that he did not get a fair and impartial jury
because Juror No. 12, Alvin Dymally, was later exposed as a rogue juror
who contacted Jon's sister, Sanjana, during and after the trial. Nor,
Jon says, did he receive a fair trial or "to an effective and even
loyal counsel." (He's claiming that Elizabeth Roos, the daughter of lawyer Donald Marks, one of Jon's former attorney who assisted Marks and his colleagues during the trial, took a job with the D.A.'s office during the trial.)
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Jon claims he has evidence, via rogue Juror No. 12's
neighbor, that Dymally was set on convicting Jon during the trial,
before juror deliberations began.
More to follow soon.