'America's Next Top Model' Fashion Designer Charged With Rape

A celebrity fashion designer who has appeared several times on "America's Next Top Model" has been charged with sexual assault and rape involving two women and a 15-year-old girl, authorities said.

Anand Jon Alexander, 33, was charged with six felonies accusing him of a series of sexual assaults between October 2004 and March 5, according to a criminal complaint filed by the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office.

The Indian-born designer, who goes by the name Anand Jon, was arrested at his Beverly Hills apartment on March 6 after a woman accused him of rape, authorities said Tuesday.

"Subsequently, additional evidence led us to other victims," said Lt. Mitch McCann, a spokesman for the Beverly Hills Police Department, which is investigating the case.

The charges include forcible rape and lewd acts on a child. Prosecutors have also charged a special circumstance allegation of multiple victims. If convicted, he faces a maximum of life in prison.

Alexander's attorney denied the allegations.

"He absolutely contends he didn't break any laws with respect to the contact he had with these women," attorney Ronald Richards said.

Alexander was being held in lieu of $1.3 million bail pending a March 19 hearing, Richards said.

Considered an up-and-coming designer in the fashion world, Alexander launched his fashion line in 1999 after graduating from the Parsons School of Design in New York. He has dressed such celebrities as Paris Hilton, Michelle Rodriguez and Mary J. Blige.

This year, Newsweek named Alexander a person to watch. The magazine cited his plans to launch a high-end jeans line and an upcoming reality show on VH1. He also has made several appearances on Tyra Banks' modeling competition "America's Next Top Model."

Richards said his client met one of his accusers online after she expressed interest in working with him.

"When you have people desperate to be in fashion, they get upset when you don't place them where they want to be," he said, adding that his client was involved with many different women.

"When you deal with a large amount of women, you're going to have potential false allegations made against you," Richards said.

Immigration authorities have placed a hold on Alexander and will take custody of him after local authorities complete their prosecution. Lori Haley, a spokeswoman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said she had no immediate information on Alexander's immigration status, but added most holds occur when officials believe someone is in the country illegally.

Richards said his client came to the United States on a professional work visa.