Alvin Dymally selected a poor place for a pick up. Dymally was a juror in the rape trial of fashion designer Anand Jon Alexander, 35. While other jurors were staring at the defendant, Dymally apparently could not take his eyes off the defendant’s sister Sanjana. Dymally would later, before the jury verdict was announced, pass Sanjana a note indicating his interest in her. Alexander was eventually sentenced to 59 years to life for 16 counts of rape while Dymally, Juror No. 12, will receive a $1000, 120 hours of community service, and a year’s mandatory participation in EHarmony. (Ok, I made up the last condition).
Dymally initially denied on the stand that he gave his telephone number to Sanjana or that he spoke with her on the telephone. While it was better than using the classic hand gesture for “call me” from the jury box, it happened to violate the express orders on the Court barring contact with the parties, lawyers, or witnesses.
Dymally was found in contempt of court for giving his telephone number to Sanjana and for speaking with her on two occasions when she called him from a pay phone. Judge David S. Wesley noted that the misconduct “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.” Dymally told Wesley that he was “definitely, 150% sorry.” That’s a lot of sorry.
Alexander’s attorneys tried to use the controversy to throw out the guilty verdicts, but Wesley ruled that the juror’s misconduct had no affect on the verdict. That is a ruling that is likely to be upheld. Indeed, it would have been more suspicious if Dymally was the only holdout on a hung jury. As it stands, it is not quite clear how Dymally thought convicting Sanjana’s brother on 16 counts of rape, sexual assault and other crimes would be a good ice breaker for a relationship.
There remains the question of Sanjana’s contempt of court in speaking with a juror and there is the possibility of criminal charges against Dymally for perjury.
Alvin Dymally is the nephew of Mervyn Dymally, former state assemblyman, state senator, congressman, and lieutenant governor in California.