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Juror in celebrity fashion designer case fined $1,000 for contempt

September 14, 2009 | 11:11 am

A juror who was held in contempt of court for contacting the defendant's sister during the rape trial of celebrity fashion designer Anand Jon Alexander was fined $1,000 this morning and sentenced to 120 hours of CalTrans community service.

Lanow.jon Alvin Dymally admitted he had acted in contempt of court. The judge found he gave his telephone number to Alexander's sister before the verdict, and spoke to her on two occasions when she called him from a payphone. He apologized to the judge, saying he meant no disrespect to the court, but did not explain his actions.

"I am definitely, 150% sorry," Dymally said.

Alexander's attorneys had seized on the juror's actions and asked Judge David S. Wesley to throw out the guilty verdicts for the designer. Wesley ruled in July that although the juror did commit misconduct, the contact did not affect the verdicts. Alexander was sentenced last month to 59 years to life in prison for 16 counts of rape, sexual assault and other crimes.

On Monday, Wesley sentenced Dymally to the maximum fine but did not send him to jail. The juror faced a maximum of five days in jail for his acts in contempt of court. Wesley said the evidence was clear that the juror had lied on the stand when he denied giving his phone number to Alexander's sister and speaking to her on the phone.

"Your actions delayed the proceedings in this case for some eight months, cost the taxpayers of this county tens of thousands of dollars and, frankly, were disgraceful," Wesley told Dymally.

The Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office said it is evaluating whether to file criminal charges against Dymally. Alexander's sister, Sanjana, has also been cited for contempt of court and is scheduled to appear before Wesley later in the week.

-- Jack Leonard at the Los Angeles County Courthouse

Photo: Fashion designer Anand Jon Alexander listens to his sentence for multiple counts of rape in Los Angeles Superior Court Aug. 31. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times