In December, a jury found Weinstein guilty of one count of forcible oral copulation, one count of sexual penetration by a foreign object, and one count of forcible rape, all involving Jane Doe 1. He was acquitted of one count of sexual battery by restraint related to another Jane Doe, while a mistrial was declared on charges involving two other women, including Jennifer Siebel Newsom, the filmmaker and wife of California Gov. Gavin Newsom.
The former movie mogul is already serving a 23-year sentence after being found guilty of rape and sexual assault in New York in 2020. For his Los Angeles conviction, Weinstein was facing up to 18 years in prison on top of that time.
Before Weinstein learned his fate, Jane Doe 1, the former model and actor who testified that the former producer raped her in February 2013, told the court that the effects of the sexual assault are still "raw and difficult to discuss" 10 years after it occurred.
"I have been carrying this weight, this trauma. This irrational belief that it was my fault," Jane Doe 1 told the court on Thursday. "His selfish, disgusting actions have greatly impacted my life. Before that night, I was a very happy and confident woman. I valued myself and the relationship I had with God. I was excited about my future. Everything changed after the defendant brutally assaulted me."
"I thought I did something wrong because he chose me that night. I thought I did something wrong for him to do that to me," she continued. "I soon became invisible to myself and to the world. I lost my identity. I was heartbroken, empty, and alone."
"There is no prison sentence long enough to erase the damage. I'm still learning every day how to live with this," she said.
"By coming forward, I raised my voice," Jane Doe 1 added. "I’m no longer invisible."
In his own statement to the court on Thursday, Weinstein maintained his innocence and accused Jane Doe 1 of lying, calling her account a "made up story." He said, "I maintain that I’m innocent. I never raped or sexually assaulted Jane Doe 1. I never knew this woman, and the fact is she doesn’t know me. This is about money."
The Los Angeles verdict came five years after the New York Times and the New Yorker first reported on the accusations that Weinstein had a history of sexually assaulting, sexually harassing, and raping women in the industry. Those stories prompted a reckoning within Hollywood and contributed to the explosion of the #MeToo movement.
Since then, more than 90 women have publicly accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct.
"Today, justice has been served," Elizabeth Fegan, the attorney who represented Jennifer Siebel Newsom and Ashley Matthau in the Los Angeles trial, said in a statement to BuzzFeed News after Weinstein's sentence was announced on Thursday. "In delivering a 16-year sentence, Judge Lisa Lench has ensured that Harvey Weinstein will spend the rest of his life behind bars.
"The verdict and the sentence were possible because eight very courageous women stepped forward to confront this serial rapist," Fegan added.
In a statement to BuzzFeed News, Weinstein's spokesperson, Juda Engelmayer, called the sentence "cruel" due to his age and health and said that Jane Doe 1 lied about her accusation.
"It’s not justice, but a pile on for a man many people just decided should be cast off and discarded regardless of facts. It will be appealed," Engelmayer said.
Also on Thursday, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Lisa B. Lench denied Weinstein's motion for a new trial. In the motion, his attorneys said they wanted to set right "prejudicial errors" and alleged that they had evidence that would impact the credibility of Jane Doe 1's testimony.
Prosecutors refuted his attorneys’ claims and argued that a new trial would not result in a different verdict.
During the monthslong trial in Los Angeles, the jury, made up of eight men and four women, heard from more than 50 witnesses, including the four alleged victims. Siebel Newsom, who first shared her experience with Weinstein in an op-ed published by HuffPost in 2017, testified that he had raped her in a hotel room during what she thought would be a business meeting in 2005 when she was a young actor in the industry.
"Harvey Weinstein will never be able to rape another woman," Siebel Newsom said in a statement after the verdict was announced. "He will spend the rest of his life behind bars where he belongs."
Throughout both criminal cases in New York and Los Angeles, Weinstein, 70, maintained his innocence and pleaded not guilty. After the Los Angeles verdict was announced, his representative told BuzzFeed News that Weinstein was "determined to continue his legal challenges in ultimately proving his innocence."
Weinstein is currently appealing his New York conviction. His lawyers are arguing that the women’s testimony led the New York jury to focus on the history and pattern of allegations rather than on specific charges relevant to the case, among other issues.