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Porn Star Ron Jeremy To Be Found Incompetent To Stand Trial Due To 'Severe Dementia'
Jeremy has been accused of sexually abusing 21 victims, but was ordered to undergo a mental health evaluation in March when he appeared incoherent and incapable of recognizing his own attorney.
Prosecutors say that adult film star Ron Jeremy will be found incompetent to stand trial for the numerous sexual abuse charges against him.
Jeremy was indicted in August 2021 on more than 30 counts of sexual assault spanning two decades against 21 victims whose ages ranged from 15 to 51. He faces 12 counts of forcible rape, seven counts of forcible oral copulation, six counts of sexual battery by restraint, four counts of sexual penetration by a foreign object and two counts of sexual penetration of an unconscious or asleep person. He was also indicted for one count each of committing a lewd act upon a child under the age of 14 or 15, sodomy by use of force and assault with intent to commit rape.
But the Los Angeles County Prosecutor’s Office has now said that the 69-year-old porn star — whose real name is Ronald Jeremy Hyatt — will be declared incompetent to face prosecution due to “severe dementia,” the Los Angeles Times reported Friday.
The findings come 10 months after a judge ordered the defendant to undergo a mental health evaluation, following defense attorney Stuart Goldfarb's statements that his client appeared incoherent ahead of a court hearing in March.
“I was just up in the cell where he was being kept, and I tried to get his attention unsuccessfully,” Goldfarb told the court at the time. “He was unable to determine who I was and wouldn’t accommodate both myself and the bailiff to fit into the wheelchair to come down here. I don’t think he should be forced to come down here under these circumstances.”
Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Paul Thompson confirmed the decision to find Jeremy incompetent for trial in an e-mail to the Times.
“As a result of the agreement of the experts, the defendant will be declared incompetent to stand trial," Thompson wrote. "His prognosis for improvement is not good.”
“If he does not improve, we will not be able to try him for his crimes," he added. "Because criminal proceedings are suspended as long as he is incompetent, we also cannot get a guilty plea from him or discuss other measures to get justice for the victims in the case.”
The official determination is expected during a hearing scheduled for Jan. 17.
One of Jeremy’s accusers, former adult film star Brianne Young, who uses the name Billie Britt professionally, said investigators were aware of Jeremy’s dementia before bringing charges against him.
“My first reaction, I was kind of numb,” Young told the Times of the decision not to go to trial. “They were aware of his condition before getting us all involved. They were well aware he had dementia, so I’m very disappointed that they didn’t solve that bit before letting us go on the emotional journey for two and a half years.”
Greg Risling, a spokesperson for the district attorney’s office, said that, though there had been “some concern for his declining faculties,” they believed Jeremy was fit to stand trial when charging him.
“We had no records at time of filing indicating that he had a dementia diagnosis,” according to Risling.
Young was one of the first to publicly come forward with allegations against Jeremy, claiming he raped her in 2000 while at an adult film-related Halloween party at the former House of Blues in Los Angeles, according to the Times. There, Jeremy allegedly pushed the bikini-clad woman over a table and forced himself inside of her as onlookers watched, Young alleged.
Young claimed the ordeal was only seconds-long and that spectators shrugged it off.
“People were just like, ‘That’s Ron,’” said Young.
Other accusers included adult entertainer Elle Hell, who claimed Jeremy forced oral sex on her during an incident in Chicago in 2014 in spite of her tearful rejections.
A accuser known in court records as Jane Doe 5 alleged Jeremy digitally forced himself inside of her while at a 2004 rave he'd hosted when she was 15 years-old, after Jeremy’s assistant allegedly plied the minor with alcohol.
Someone allegedly witnessed the 15-year-old’s assault, to which Jeremy reportedly said at the time, “I don’t give a f***,” according to court records obtained by Rolling Stone.
Many of the alleged victims said they were afraid to come forward because of their status in the adult film industry.
Jeremy pleaded not guilty to the charges, once referring to the alleged crimes as “pure lies or buyer’s remorse,” according to Rolling Stone. He later filed what Rolling Stone called a “ridiculous motion” to have 21 separate trials — one for each victim — on the grounds that a trial to lump all the cases into one would be a violation of his right to due process.
Ultimately, the request was denied.
Young told the Times that she was now concerned whether coming forward would help end abuse in the adult entertainment industry.
“It’s going to come down to public opinion now, and public opinion has looked at Ron like a god,” Young stated. “It could be an indication to other predators or viewers of pornography that they can get away with such crimes.”
“Far too often, survivors of sexual assault suffer in isolation,” said District Attorney George Gascón following the indictment. “We must ensure that survivors have all options available to help with recovery, including trauma-informed services for healing and support to report such crimes.”
Ron Jeremy is widely considered the most prolific adult film star, having received multiple awards within the industry. He has also appeared in several films and TV shows, including "The Boondock Saints" and VH1’s "The Surreal Life."