Ron Jeremy Declared Unfit to Stand Trial in Rape Cases After Severe Medical Diagnosis

Former adult film actor Ron Jeremy is unlikely to stand trial after being diagnosed with "severe dementia" and ruled unfit to face charges. The 69-year-old Jeremy's trial on 30 counts of sexual assault had been scheduled to start later this month. However, mental health experts called by prosecutors and Jeremy's defense team said he suffers from dementia and there is no reason to believe he is faking the condition, Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Paul Thompson wrote in a letter reported on by the Los Angeles Times last week.

"As a result of the agreement of the experts, the defendant will be declared incompetent to stand trial ... his prognosis for improvement is not good," Thompson wrote. "If he does not improve, we will not be able to try him for his crimes. 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 this case."

Jeremy's next court appearance is scheduled for Jan. 17, when he is expected to be declared incompetent to air in his own defense, Thompson wrote. Thompson and Jeremy's defense attorney, Stuart Goldfarb, declined to comment on the report. Dementia is a progressive illness that Jeremy is unlikely to recover from.

After Jeremy, whose legal name is Ronald Hyatt, is declared incompetent, he will likely be put in a state-run hospital. According to the email, the conclusion comes after experts reviewed Jeremy's medical records and interviewed him, his relatives, and sheriff's deputies who have interacted with him. Some of his relatives said they thought Jeremy showed symptoms of dementia before he was arrested in 2020.

Jeremy was arrested in June 2020 and charged with raping four women. Dozens of other women came forward to accuse the former adult film star of abuse spanning decades at parties, movie sets, and adult film conventions. He was indicted on over 30 counts of sexual assault linked to allegations from 20 women. Some of the alleged crimes date to the 1990s. He denied the allegations.

The trial was set to start in 2022, but it was postponed. In March 2022, Goldfarb said Jeremy could not recognize him and refused to get into his wheelchair. He was also generally "nonresponsive" inside his cell at a Los Angeles courthouse.

Lianne Young, who accused Jeremy of assaulting her in 2000 and testified before a grand jury, was left "numb" by revelations that some were concerned Jeremy had dementia years before he was arrested. "They were aware of his condition before getting us all involved," Young told the Los Angeles Times. "They were well aware he had dementia, so I'm very disappointed that they didn't solve that bit before letting us go on that emotional journey for 2½ years."

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Greg Risling, a spokesman for the district attorney's office, told the Times prosecutors were not aware of the progression of Jeremy's dementia at the time he was charged. "Although his attorney expressed some concern for his declining faculties, we believed him to be competent at the time of filing based upon interviews we conducted with him, among other reasons," Risling told the Times. "We had no records at [the] time of filing indicating that he had a dementia diagnosis."

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, you can contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or go to rainn.org.