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Judge upholds conviction of Beverly Hills fashion designer

July 6, 2009 | 12:51 pm

A Los Angeles County judge today upheld the sexual assault conviction of Beverly Hills fashion designer Anand Jon Alexander, ruling that a juror's contact with the defendant's sister before the verdicts did not prevent the designer from getting a fair trial.

Juror Alvin Dymally was accused of improperly contacting the defendant's sister before the verdicts. Defense attorneys allege that the juror, a seemingly mild-mannered Los Angeles City building inspector, twice reached out to the designer's sister near the end of the trial, possibly seeking a date, and then voted for a conviction after she refused to meet him alone.

Dymally insisted at a recent hearing that his contact with the designer's sister came after the trial. But he invoked his constitutional right against self-incrimination when defense attorneys produced a barely audible recording of a phone conversation they said was between the juror and Alexander's sister.

Prosecutors said they believed Dymally did speak to Alexander's sister before the verdicts. But they said his contact amounted to little more than harmless flirting -- such as telling her, "I love your eyes" -- and did not affect the fairness of the trial.

--Jack Leonard