India-born celebrity fashion designer Anand Jon has pleaded not guilty in a New York court to dozens of new charges that he sexually assaulted nine women and minor girls.
Already convicted of raping women in California, Jon, 36, was extradited to New York to face charges he preyed on 15 to 26 year old wannabe models between 2002 and 2006.
Wearing a white shirt and tan drawstring pants, dark-rimmed glasses and handcuffs, the one-time rising design star said nothing but “not guilty” as he was arraigned on Friday in a Manhattan court.
He is charged with rape, criminal sexual acts, promoting a sexual performance by a child and an alleged attack on a minor.
Jon’s lawyer did not ask for bail since the designer is technically a prisoner in Los Angeles, where he was sentenced to 59 years to life.
Jon, who worked with such celebrities as Paris Hilton and Mary J. Blige is due back in Manhattan court on February 17.
He was among 20 people profiled by Newsweek in 2006 as up-and-coming players in various industries and was featured on “America’s Next Top Model.”
According to the new indictment, Jon rendered at least two women physically helpless by drugging them, and he told one teenager he would hurt her if she reported her rape to authorities.
The Manhattan District Attorney’s office had disclosed some of its charges against Jon in 2007, after his arrest in the California case. But new charges and details, such as the allegations of drugging and threats, emerged at his arraignment on Friday.
The Manhattan case had been on hold while the California prosecution played out. Jon was convicted in Los Angeles in 2008 of sexually assaulting seven women and girls, some as young as 14. Some also were aspiring models allegedly lured with promises of jobs and stays at luxury hotels.
Jon has maintained his innocence throughout the California case. His lawyers argued many of the women lied to get revenge against him after they didn’t get modelling jobs.