Adult film actor Ron Jeremy pleaded not guilty to charges of raping three women and sexually assaulting a fourth during his arraignment hearing in a Los Angeles courtroom Friday, reports Variety. Jeremy, who wore a facemask and stood behind a glass enclosure, is being held on $6.6 million bail. If convicted, the 67-year-old actor could be sentenced to 90 years in prison.
On Tuesday, prosecutors announced Jeremy was charged with three counts of forcible rape and one count of forcible oral copulation and sexual battery. Jeremy, whose real name is Ronald Jeremy Hyatt, allegedly raped a 25-year-old woman in West Hollywood and sexually assaulted two women, ages 33 and 46, on different occasions at a West Hollywood bar in 2017. Jeremy also allegedly raped a 30-year-old woman at a West Hollywood bar in July 2019. Prosecutors investigated an alleged incident in 2016 but declined to press charges due to insufficient evidence.
Jeremy has been accused of sexual assault multiple times in his career. In 2017, Rolling Stone published an investigation into Jeremy after interviewing more than a dozen women. Many shared allegations of rape, indecent exposure and nonconsensual digital penetration. One former performer, Jennifer Steele, accused Jeremy of raping her twice in December 1997, claiming that Jeremy "doesn't hear no." At the time, Jeremy denied the allegations, noting that he had never been charged with a crime at that point.
"I have never been charged nor spent one day in court for any of this. And these are old allegations," Jeremy said in 2017. "I have been heartbroken over these allegations. Not because it affects me or my business, I can take that, but because they are lies and there are actual women and men out there Who have been victims of serious sexual assault, and so on, that are trying to get their voices heard." Jeremy added that if anyone continued making the allegations, he would sue them for defamation.
After prosecutors filed charges against him this week, Jeremy again denied the allegations on Twitter. He said he could not wait to "prove my innocence in court" and thanked fans for their support. However, his agent, Dante Rusciolelli, confirmed Jeremy was dropped by the talent agency Golden Artists Entertainment, which continued to represent him after the 2017 Rolling Stone report.
Eliot Preschutti, the former bar manager of the West Hollywood bar Jeremy frequented, told the Daily Mail he does not think Jeremy is a rapist but said Jeremy has groped women. "I've seen the guy in action, he just doesn't need to do this, to rape women," Preschutti said. "There's plenty of women making themselves available to him. Yes he's a groper, he has admitted that himself."