Must be the week for unsealed indictments. Only, we had an idea these were coming, as three arrest warrants on sexual assault charges have been issued in Dallas for New York-based fashion faux pas Anand Jon. The 33-year-old designer for the likes of Paris Hilton and Paula Abdul allegedly met would-be models on the Internet and arranged to meet them when he came through Dallas -- allegedly to sexually assault them, as we reported in the paper version of Unfair Park earlier this year. Allegedly.
Harris County also has issued an open warrant for his arrest on a felony charge of sexual assault of a child between age 14 and 16. But the two Texas counties will have to get in line, as yesterday a Los Angeles judge unsealed a 59-count indictment against Anand Jon for sexual assault of 20 women between the ages of 14 and 27. The charges include forcible rape, lewd acts upon a child, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, sexual battery by restraint and attempted forcible oral copulation. The indictment supersedes previous charges involving 18 women. The allegations include 54 felonies and five misdemeanors.
Anand Jon was originally charged March 13 and will remain in jail without bail until October 25; prosecutors are seeking bond in excess of $5 million. Seven alleged victims are from California; others hail from eight states, including Texas, and two foreign countries. The indictment was issued to spare the women from having to testify in a preliminary hearing.
"One of the reasons in seeking the indictment is that it speeds up the process and avoids a preliminary hearing," Jane Robison, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office told the Associated Press. But the designer's case begs to differ: "We think this is made up of whole cloth, the entire case." --Glenna Whitley
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.