Adult film performer Ron Jeremy charged with sexual assaults of 21 women

·3 min read

LOS ANGELES — An indictment charging the adult film performer Ron Jeremy with 34 counts of sex crimes against 21 victims was unsealed Wednesday.

The case appears to wrap up all of the Los Angeles County district attorney's previous allegations against Jeremy. They allege sexual assaults dating to 1996, including a lewd act upon a child who was 15, the rape of a 17-year-old at a home, the rape of 19-year-old at a photo shoot, penetration with a foreign object, forced copulation and penetration of an unconscious person.

The charges could carry more than 300 years behind bars if he is convicted.

Jeremy, identified in court documents as Ron Jeremy Hyatt, 67, pleaded not guilty to all counts.

Related video: Ron Jeremy dropped by manager after sexual assault charges

His attorney, Stuart Goldfarb, said he believes the indictment — returned Aug. 19 but kept sealed until Wednesday — was part of an attempt by prosecutors to keep the names of the accusers under wraps and deprive Jeremy of a just defense.

"You're entitled to know who the victims are," he said.

Goldfarb said he filed a petition with the California Supreme Court, with a hearing scheduled for September, that sought to reveal the names of the accusers so he could mount a defense. The petition, he said, is now moot, and the indictment means Jeremy will not get a preliminary hearing to further vet the accusers and the allegations.

Alleged victims and witnesses, he said, were heard in secret before the grand jury. Asked whether Jeremy maintains his innocence, Goldfarb said, "Absolutely."

A district attorney's spokesman declined to comment.

In a statement announcing the unsealing of the indictment, District Attorney George Gascón said: "Far too often, survivors of sexual assault suffer in isolation. 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."

Authorities have not identified the women and girls in the indictment, and the district attorney's office said the case was still under investigation by its detectives, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and the Los Angeles Police Department.

The grand jury allegations, which are centered in Los Angeles County, include six allegations of assault at a West Hollywood bar Jeremy is alleged to have frequented. The most recent allegation stems from the Jan. 1, 2020, charge that a 21-year-old woman was raped and sodomized.

The allegations involving a then-15-year-old include forcible penetration by a foreign object at a party in 2004 in Santa Clarita. The oldest alleged victim was 51 at the time of the alleged crime, prosecutors said.

The charges also allege assaults at a strip club and at a nightclub.

Jeremy's heyday in adult film was the 1980s and 1990s, when he portrayed a hairy, rotund and older everyman. He continued to have a presence in the industry beyond that, and he was known for hugging, kissing, groping and putting his mouth on the bodies of female performers as photographers snapped pictures at the annual AVN Adult Entertainment Expo in Las Vegas and at porn conventions in Los Angeles and beyond.

His notoriety landed him a role on the WB and VH1 reality series "The Surreal Life."

In 2017 and 2020, Rolling Stone reported that nearly two dozen women said Jeremy was a serial predator who used his public, over-the-top behavior as "justification" for his alleged attacks. Many of his alleged victims, the publication said, worked in the adult industry. Jeremy denied the allegations and said "it breaks my heart in half" that the women ever felt "uncomfortable."

Jeremy is due back in court Oct. 12 for a pretrial conference. He remained in jail in lieu of $6.6 million bail.

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