Ron Jeremy’s serial rape case was suspended in Los Angeles on Thursday after the jailed porn star appeared incoherent and unable to recognize his own lawyer ahead of a critical hearing in the case.
“I was just up in the cell where he was being kept, and I tried to get his attention unsuccessfully,” his defense lawyer, Stuart Goldfarb, told the court ahead of what was supposed to be a key hearing in the disturbing case involving 21 alleged victims. “He was unable to determine who I was and wouldn’t accommodate both myself and the bailiff to fit into the wheelchair to come down here. I don’t think he should be forced to come down her under these circumstances.”
After stating that the bailiff had also told the court Jeremy was “incoherent” and “not obeying commands,” Judge George Lomeli said from the bench that he would suspend the proceedings. The judge referred the case to a mental health courthouse for an April 1 hearing and set a follow-up date back in his criminal courtroom for April 19. “Hopefully” by that date, “evaluations done by a psychiatrist on each side regarding the issues of competency” will clarify the situation, Lomeli said.
Jeremy, whose legal name is Ronald Jeremy Hyatt, was indicted last August on 34 counts of sexual assault involving the 21 complaining witnesses. The charges, dating as far back as 1996, involve alleged victims ranging in age from 15 to 51 and a dozen counts of forcible assault. He had pleaded not guilty.
According to court documents, Jeremy allegedly used his role as a cuddly elder statesman in the porn industry to disarm women and entice them into secluded areas. Many of the alleged assaults were said to have taken place at the Rainbow Bar and Grill, a West Hollywood dining establishment where Jeremy was a regular who enjoyed VIP access to employee areas.
The Thursday hearing was supposed to center on Jeremy’s request to have his case broken up into 21 separate trials. “Allowing Mr. Hyatt’s jury to hear about dozens of allegations of alleged misconduct will prevent his jurors from judging him fairly on each charged count and from scrupulously applying the burden of proof,” his defense motion calling for the separate trials reads.
The judge declined to hear further arguments or issue a ruling pending Jeremy’s mental health evaluation.