- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 13, 2010

NEW YORK (AP) - Prosecutors have dropped some of their slate of sex charges against fashion designer Anand Jon Alexander, but he’s still fighting allegations of molesting nine would-be models.

Alexander remains convicted in a similar case in California. But one of his lawyers hailed Wednesday’s dismissal of some of the New York charges as a good step for the designer, who says he’s innocent of all the allegations.

“We’re very pleased about (the dismissal) because we think it’s the beginning of a case that’s going to be fought very hard in court,” attorney Adam Freedman said.

Born in India, Alexander _ known professionally as Anand Jon _ launched a fashion line in 1999 and built it into a high-flying career. He was featured on “America’s Next Top Model,” worked with such celebrities as Paris Hilton and Mary J. Blige and was among 20 people profiled by Newsweek in 2006 as up-and-coming players in various industries.

Then sex assault allegations against Alexander began surfacing in 2007. He was convicted in Los Angeles the next year of sexually assaulting seven women and girls, some as young as 14. He was sentenced to 59 years to life in prison.

In New York, he was originally charged with preying on a dozen women after contacting them with offers of modeling opportunities.

The Manhattan district attorney’s office declined to say why prosecutors trimmed three women from the list. On Wednesday, a judge officially dismissed the charges related to those women.

Alexander, 37, has pleaded not guilty to rape and other charges in the New York case.

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