Former porn star Ron Jeremy is declared incompetent to stand trial for rape

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Adult film legend Ron Jeremy suffers from “severe dementia” and will be declared incompetent to stand trial on multiple rape charges later this month, according to an email obtained by The Times.

Jeremy – whose legal name is Ronald Hyatt – was first accused of raping four women he met in West Hollywood bars and clubs in June 2020. The case against Jeremy quickly escalated as dozens of women came forward claiming that the former porn kingpin had abused women for decades at parties, adult film conventions or on film sets.

Jeremy, 69, was later charged with more than 30 counts of sexual assault stemming from allegations against 20 women, with some of his alleged crimes dating back to the 1990s. But weeks before Jeremy’s trial was due to begin last year, his attorney, Stuart Goldfarb, walked into a Los Angeles courtroom and said his client didn’t recognize him.

In an email obtained by The Times this week, LA County Deputy Dist. Attention. Paul Thompson said mental health experts called by both prosecutors and Jeremy’s defense team have determined that he suffers from severe dementia and there is no evidence that he is faking his symptoms.

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“As a result of the concurrence of the experts, the defendant will be declared incompetent to stand trial … his prognosis for improvement is not good,” Thompson wrote. “If he doesn’t improve, we won’t be able to try him for his crimes. Since criminal proceedings will be suspended as long as he is incompetent, we will also not be able to obtain a plea of ​​guilt from him or discuss other measures to get justice for the victims in this case.”

Thompson and Goldfarb declined to comment Friday. Jeremy, who has denied all allegations, will appear in a Hollywood courtroom on Jan. 17, where he will be formally declared incompetent to assist in his own defense, Thompson said in the email.

While competence to stand trial is variable – meaning that a mentally incompetent defendant may later be found capable of standing trial after receiving medication or therapy over time – dementia is a progressive and degenerative illness from which Jeremy is unlikely to recover.

According to the email, the experts reached their conclusion based on a review of medical records and interviews with Jeremy, his relatives and several Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies who interacted with him while he was in custody. Some of Jeremy’s relatives apparently suspected he was suffering from dementia prior to his 2020 arrest, “which was the catalyst that started the process that resulted in his driver’s license being revoked,” Thompson wrote in the email.

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Once declared incompetent, Jeremy will likely be placed in a state hospital.

Lianne Young, a former British adult film star who first publicly accused Jeremy of assaulting her in a 2020 interview with The Times, said she was frustrated to learn there were concerns Jeremy had dementia long before prosecutors charged him.

“My first reaction was that I was a little numb,” she said. “They were aware of his condition before they got us all involved. They knew full well that he had dementia, so I’m very disappointed that they didn’t sort that part out before letting us go on that emotional journey for two and a half years.

Greg Risling, a spokesman for the district attorney’s office, said prosecutors were unaware of the severity of Jeremy’s illness at the time the charges were filed.

“While his attorney expressed some concern about his dwindling assets, we believed he was competent at the time of filing, including based on interviews we conducted with him,” Risling said. “We had no records at the time of filing that showed he had a diagnosis of dementia.”

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Young said she was wearing a bikini at an industry party at the former House of Blues on the Sunset Strip in 2000 when Jeremy came up behind her, pushed her against a table and forced himself into her. The encounter lasted only seconds, according to Young, who said she quickly fought him off. After Young spoke to The Times, she said she was approached by Sheriff’s Department detectives and later called to testify against Jeremy at a grand jury hearing.

Young said she has no regrets coming forward as she believes the spate of allegations against Jeremy has sparked a conversation about sexual abuse in the adult film industry. But she also worries that Jeremy could be acquitted without conviction in the eyes of many of his fans.

“It comes down to public opinion now, and public opinion has looked at Ron like a god,” she said. “It could be an indication to other predators or viewers of pornography that they are getting away with such crimes.”