BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. – A celebrity fashion designer accused of sexually assaulting as many as a dozen women and girls pleaded not guilty Wednesday, hours after prosecutors filed 12 new charges.
The latest charges against Anand Jon Alexander include 11 felonies and one misdemeanor. The most serious are forcible rape and sodomy by use of force.
In all, the designer is charged with 33 felonies and misdemeanors, ranging from rape and sexual battery to committing a lewd act on a child and contributing to the delinquency of a minor by giving her liquor, authorities said.
Alexander pleaded not guilty to all charges in Los Angeles County Superior Court. A prosecution request to increase his $1.3 million bail was denied and Alexander, who had already posted bond, was allowed to remain free.
Alexander, 33, launched his fashion line in 1999 after graduating from the Parsons School of Design in New York. He has dressed celebrities including Paris Hilton, Michelle Rodriguez and Mary J. Blige.
The designer was arrested March 6 at his Beverly Hills apartment for investigation of sexually assaulting seven women and girls. Since then, five more women, ranging in age from 14 to 23, have come forward claiming they were sexually assaulted, said Jane Robison, a spokeswoman for the district attorney's office.
The new charges cover a period between November 2002 and March 2007, she said.
Attorney Ronald Richards, who represents Alexander, has said some of the women who came forward were disgruntled models who failed in the fashion industry and were looking for an opportunity to capitalize on Alexander's troubles. He has said four women who talked to authorities before Alexander's arrest didn't file police reports at the time of the alleged assaults.
The Indian-born designer was arrested after a woman alleged that he raped her.