LOS ANGELES – A defense attorney for fashion designer Anand Jon Alexander told jurors Friday in closing arguments that his client should be acquitted of rape charges because his accusers are lying and seeking revenge.
"How many times did you hear 'I don't recall' from them during the trial?" asked defense attorney Leonard Levine. "I stopped counting at 300. These women lied. They lied, they exaggerated and nobody cared — but you should care."
The case now heads to the jury, which will deliberate next week accusations that Alexander raped nine females, most of them aspiring models, at his Beverly Hills apartment.
Levine said the women who testified against Alexander "invited what happened," then made up stories so they could sue Alexander after his criminal case.
Prosecutor Frances Young told jurors Alexander is a "sexual predator," and should be found guilty because he humiliated and degraded naive girls who came to Hollywood with dreams of fame.
"What we heard was four male lawyers defending their male client and what we heard was a lot of misogyny," Young said. "These girls did nothing wrong. None of these girls invited what happened to them."
"This is a very sick man," Young told the jury. "He was an abuser of women who picked a profession where he would be surrounded by teenage girls."
Beverly Hills police began investigating Alexander in March 2007 when a woman reported she had been sexually assaulted by the designer in his apartment. Before his arrest in June 2007, Alexander was featured on the TV show, "America's Next Top Model."
He now faces 27 counts, including forcible rape and committing lewd acts on a child, stemming from assaults that allegedly happened between 2001 and 2007. The alleged victims ranged in age from 14 to 21.
If convicted of all counts, Alexander faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.