Ron Jeremy's release to 'private residence' upheld by L.A. County judge

Los Angeles, CA, Tuesday, June 23, 2020 - Adult film star Ron Jeremy appears in Dept. 30 at LA Superior Court, charged with sexually assaulting four women. (POOL PHOTO/ Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Former adult film star Ron Jeremy is arraigned on sexual assault charges in a downtown L.A. courtroom in 2020. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

An L.A. County judge on Thursday reaffirmed a decision to release Ron Jeremy to a "private residence" because he is incompetent to stand trial for more than 30 counts of sexual assault, infuriating many of the women who have accused the former adult film star of rape in recent years.

Jeremy, 70, has been held in state hospitals and the medical wing of the Twin Towers Correctional Facility in downtown L.A. since January, when he was formally declared incompetent to stand trial due to a diagnosis of "severe dementia." He was placed in a conservatorship in March, court records show.

Last week, a judge in the Hollywood mental health courthouse granted a petition from Jeremy's conservator to release him to a private residence due to his deteriorating health. Jeremy is "essentially bedridden," according to an email reviewed by The Times.

The conservator tried to have Jeremy housed in a "secured perimeter dementia ward,” but 10 private facilities declined to house him, according to an August court filing.

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Los Angeles County Deputy Dist. Atty. Paul Thompson objected to Jeremy's release last week and the district attorney's office filed a motion asking the judge to reconsider where Jeremy would be housed, which led to Thursday's hearing.

Six of Jeremy's accusers gave tearful testimony inside the Hollywood mental health courthouse Thursday, begging Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Robert Harrison to reverse his decision.

“I have zero doubt that he is a danger to the public, dementia or not ... he may have been deemed incompetent to stand trial, that does not mean he’s not competent to reoffend," said one woman, identified in court only as Jane Doe 16, who accused Jeremy of raping her at the Rainbow Room Bar & Grill on the Sunset Strip.

Harrison said Jeremy would be monitored at all times by a male caregiver at his new residence, and would be barred from leaving the premises. But the judge said he could not keep Jeremy in jail any longer as he is incapable of being restored to competency and has not been convicted of a crime.

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It was not immediately clear when Jeremy would be released or where his residence would be located. Harrison ordered the Office of the Public Guardian, which is under the umbrella of the L.A. County Department of Mental Health, to investigate whether Jeremy qualifies for what's known as a "Murphy conservatorship." If placed under one, Jeremy could be housed in a state hospital. A report deeming Jeremy a danger to himself or others would be required to place him under such a conservatorship.

But the judge warned that even with such a ruling, there may be a three-year waitlist to gain access to a state hospital, during which time Jeremy would have to remain in the undisclosed private residence.

Jeremy was initially charged with four counts of sexual assault in June 2020, but the number of allegations against him in L.A. and around the country quickly ballooned. By August of 2021, the disgraced porn king had been indicted on 34 counts of rape, forcible oral copulation and sexual battery involving allegations made by 23 women. Jeremy has denied all wrongdoing.

Times staff writer Matthew Ormseth contributed to this report.

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.