Aspiring Models' Dreams Turn Into Nightmares

On the day of his sentencing, Jon -- acting as his own attorney -- presented his argument for a new trial to the judge. Alternating between arrogance and anger, and at one point breaking down in tears, Jon detailed for six hours the reasons he believed he was wrongly convicted.

Jon talked about exculpatory evidence that had been withheld from his defense, including emails and internet chats with the models. He showed the judge a surveillance video of Jessie walking out the day she claimed she was raped, claiming it showed she was not in duress. And he mocked Jessie for trying on jeans in his apartment the morning after she says she was raped.

"Maybe I'm a jerk. Maybe I'm an ass. Come on. What are you changing me with? Forcible rape?" he asked incredulously. "Nine hours later, she thinks it's cool. 'Oh, oh, I'm confused. Oh, the pants don't fit, by the way. The buttons are off. Oh, I was raped.'"

But the judge wasn't convinced.

"You have from the beginning claimed that you are in court because of a nationwide conspiracy by the prosecution and young women all over this country that have made up stories and colluded with each other," said Judge David S. Wesley. "Just as you failed to convince them, you have failed to convince me. Your motion for a new trial is denied."

But before his sentencing, Jon's victims had the opportunity to confront their attacker in court for the first time.

"You took my adolescence, my trust, my dream and completely manipulated it for your sexual desires," Autumn said in court as Jon listened. "It sickens me that a grown man can do such a thing, not to a woman, not to an adult, a girl. I wish you knew how it felt to be held down, how it feels to be trapped."

"What he has done to me will be something I have to live with for the rest of my life, and I'm asking you to please give him the maximum sentence possible and hold him accountable for his actions that he will never be able to hurt anyone ever again," Jessie told the judge.

The judge sentenced Jon to 59-years to life in a California prison.

Jon, 37, is about to be extradited to stand trial on similar charges in New York state. He was also indicted in Texas.

A New Trial?

But after all the twists and turns in the case, there's a good chance Jon's conviction in Los Angeles could be overturned on appeal. During deliberations, when the jury was deadlocked, one of the jurors gave his phone number to Jon's sister Sanjana. He asked her to call him, and she did -- twice -- but refused to meet with him. The day after she turned him down, the juror -- who had been a hold out -- voted guilty.

"It's the most egregious case of juror misconduct I've ever seen," said Levine. "[Anand Jon} did not have the independent deliberations of 12 jurors. And this is clearly a case that we believe will be overturned on appeal."

But for Jessie, Autumn and all the other victims, a new trial would mean reliving the hurt and relearning the lessons they want other young girls with big dreams to never forget. "You need to be strong, and you need to believe in yourself," Jessie said.

"[Do] not let people walk all over you," Autumn told "20/20," "to stand up for yourself and not stay in the dark about it cause it's not okay."

Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...