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Designer's sexual assault trial nears its end

LOS ANGELES – Fashion designer Anand Jon Alexander sexually assaulted aspiring models after luring them to Los Angeles with promises of glamorous photo shoots and stays in a luxury hotel, a prosecutor said Wednesday in closing arguments of his trial.

Deputy District Attorney Mara McIlvain told jurors that he had a "common plan" that started with finding the women on the Internet and ended with him fondling or raping them in his apartment.

In one instance, he is accused of videotaping a 17-year-old girl as she disrobed at his urging and then touching her inappropriately as she bent over. McIlvain suggested Alexander wanted to keep the tape as a souvenir.

"It's for his personal sexual stimulation," she said.

Alexander, 34, faces 25 counts including forcible rape and committing lewd acts on a child. The nine alleged victims were ages 14 to 21, and the alleged crimes occurred between 2001 and 2007.

Once considered an up-and-coming designer, Alexander appeared on TV's "America's Next Top Model" in 2003 and was profiled by Newsweek. He has worked with celebrities including Paris Hilton and Mary J. Blige.

Most of the prosecution's case relies on testimony from women who made the accusations against Alexander. If his accusers are to be believed, Alexander was shuttling girls and women in and out of his apartment on a frequent basis.

For instance, during the first week of March 2007, three of his accusers claim they were violated by Alexander, who was arrested later that month after one of the girls went to Beverly Hills police.

Defense attorney Donald Marks questioned the victims' credibility and said the prosecution's case relies heavily on their testimony.

"Three words come to mind ... 'she told you,'" Marks said to jurors. "So when you are looking at weighing all the evidence ... it comes down to basically what she told you."

Marks and two of Alexander's other attorneys will continue their closing arguments Thursday.

Alexanderis under indictment in New York on similar charges involving nine women. He is under investigation by authorities in Texas and Massachusetts.

The fashion designer, born in India, graduated from the Parsons School of Design in New York and launched a fashion line in 1999.