Is Indian fashion designer Anand Jon actually a serial rapist, or simply a creepy dude being victimized by an overzealous prosecutor and less-than-credible witnesses? Testimony in his trial—which was one of the biggest rape cases in California history until a handful of his alleged victims dropped their charges—began last week, and early signs seem to point to the latter.
Less than half of the 59 original counts of rape and sexual assault levied against Jon remain. (The story line is pretty much consistent across the board: Jon meets a vulnerable, young girl online, promises to find her work in the fashion industry if she comes to stay with him in L.A., and then rapes her). And the testimony prosecutors are using to paint him as a rapist has thus far been shaky at best, reports Sharon Waxman. Here’s what happened with Holly Gavel, who was just 14 when Jon introduced himself to her at a fashion party by sticking his tongue down her throat: