India-born fashion designer Anand Jon was faced with fresh multiple charges of sexually assaulting a dozen women, including teenagers, in a New York court. He, however, pleaded "not guilty" to the new charges.
Jon, who was sentenced to 59 years in jail by a California court in September last year for raping seven young women, faces similar charges of sexually preying on a dozen of young women - aged 15 to 26 - since 2002 by promising them modelling assignments.
The 36-year-old was extradited to New York to face the new charges in the Manhattan court on Jan 29. Prosecutors said the designer sexually assaulted at least two women by first drugging them. In one case, he allegedly threatened his young victim if she spoke about her molestation, prosecutors added.
Appearing in the Manhattan court for arraignment, the once celebrity designer pleaded "not guilty" to charges - of rapes, drugging and intimidation. He is charged with rape, criminal sexual acts, promoting a sexual performance by a child and an alleged attack on a minor. The indictment statement said the designer preyed on innocent women by luring them with modelling assignments.
Defence lawyer Adam Freedman wouldn't comment on the new allegations against the designer who was once profiled by Newsweek magazine as one of the 20 rising stars in different fields. 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 was featured on reality television show "America's Next Top Model" and socialised with America's glitterati, including Paris Hilton, could face up to 25 years to life imprisonment if on the fresh charges. 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.