Jailed porn star Ron Jeremy is expected to face a jury in his sprawling serial-rape case in February, a judge said Tuesday.
The mustachioed mainstay of the adult-film industry was pushed into a courtroom in downtown Los Angeles in a wheelchair, his wrists cuffed in his lap and his signature long hair now completely white.
Judge George Lomeli said he expects the upcoming trial to run four to six weeks. He asked Jeremy if he agreed to set his next appearance for January 6th, with the understanding his trial would start “in the latter part of February.”
“Yes,” Jeremy responded in his only comment during the morning hearing.
Moments later, a woman in the gallery stood up and addressed the judge.
“Your honor, it’s inhumane for him to be staying in jail while he continually delays the hearings,” she said, referring to Jeremy’s defense lawyer, Stuart Goldfarb.
“Who are you? How are you related to the defendant?” the judge asked.
“He’s my friend of 10 years,” she said, referring to Jeremy, whose legal name is Ronald Jeremy Hyatt.
“Well, you may find it’s inhumane,” Lomeli said. “The problem is, that in order for his attorney to provide effective counsel, he has to be familiar with all of the evidence against him. It’s not just one charge. It’s voluminous. As a friend, it’s nice that you care about Mr. Hyatt. The problem is, you’re not his attorney.”
As he was wheeled out of the courtroom, Jeremy winked at the woman, who declined to give her name when asked by Rolling Stone.
Jeremy, 68, pleaded not guilty to 34 counts of sexual assault, including a dozen counts of forcible rape, at a surprise arraignment August 25th, a week after a Los Angeles County grand jury secretly indicted him in the criminal case previously charged by complaint.
The new indictment involves 21 alleged victims ranging in age from 15 to 51, and an alleged pattern of predatory behavior dating back to 1996.
All of the alleged victims testified for the grand jury, with many saying Jeremy, nicknamed “the Hedgehog” for his hirsute appearance, used his status as a pop-culture icon to disarm their defenses, according to transcripts of the proceeding obtained by Rolling Stone.
Several women said Jeremy, who’s been in jail since his June 2020 arrest in the case, used his VIP access to the employee bathrooms at the Rainbow Bar and Grill in West Hollywood to lure them out of earshot of other patrons and trap them in a confined space.
Jane Doe 2, a nurse and married mother of five, testified that she visited the Sunset Strip establishment with her husband in 2017 and encountered Jeremy around closing time, leaving her husband waiting in a car so she could return and use the bathroom around 2 a.m. She said Jeremy accosted her near the door, asked if she wanted his autograph and “intimidated” her to the point that she nervously agreed to let him sign her chest.
“And then he pulled my top down a bit, and my bra down, and started to put his mouth on my chest,” she testified in August.
The woman said that when she backed away and tried to reenter the bar through the front door, Jeremy told her the bar was closing and her only option was to let him escort her to the employee restroom.
“I stepped into the restroom, and Ron followed me in,” she testified, adding that she hadn’t invited him in and immediately became alarmed.
She said Jeremy started calling her “sexy” and “cute” and refused to let her escape.
“I was afraid. I was scared ‘cause he’s bigger than me and he was blocking the door,” she testified.
She tried telling Jeremy she was “just a mom” with several kids at home, but he turned her around and forcibly pushed her over the toilet, she said.
Jeremy pulled her underwear down and pressed his penis against her buttocks and vagina, she testified.
“Shh, you’re fine. I’m not going to go all the way in,” Jeremy allegedly told her.
“His hand was still on my back pushing me over this whole time, and I was holding on to a bar so I wouldn’t fall,” she said.
Eventually Jeremy relented and she managed to turn around and face him while his penis was still exposed, she said.
“He took my hand and put it on him and said, ‘Well, you should at least feel it.’ And [he] said something — that he had a trick he could do,” she testified.
“Just say, ‘Make it big, Ron Jeremy,’” he purportedly instructed her. “Say it. Say, ‘Get big Ron Jeremy.’ Watch what I can do.”
The woman told him she preferred to leave, but Jeremy kept going, she said.
“And he said, ‘Get smaller, Ron Jeremy.’ And he made himself smaller, like relaxed it,” she testified.
During her closing argument to the grand jury, Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Marlene Martinez called the Rainbow Bar and Grill bathrooms one of Jeremy’s favorite “hunting grounds.”
“He would trap (women) in there and then he would assault them in the most vulnerable place, away from everybody else, by themselves, where it’s a noisy bar and nobody was going to come to their aid,” Martinez said.
Jeremy also is accused of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl at a rave in Santa Clarita, California, in June 2004, after inviting her backstage and asking if she wanted to “see something cool.”
“He put his arm around my stomach and then lifted me off the ground slightly, and then simultaneously putting his other hand down in my — in my vagina. I was just kind of frozen,” the alleged victim, now in her early thirties, told the grand jury.
“I was trying to pull him, like push it away,” she recalled. “He was — he was sucking on my neck while I — while I did that.”
Jeremy was a ubiquitous presence in the adult-film industry for years, and enjoyed enviable crossover success with TV appearances on the reality-TV show The Surreal Life and in the 1999 teen comedy Detroit Rock City.
In 2017, Rolling Stone spoke with more than a dozen women who said Jeremy leveraged his status as arguably the most famous male porn star to corner and sexually assault fans and fellow performers with impunity.
Goldfarb said Tuesday he hasn’t decided yet whether he’ll put Jeremy on the witness stand in his own defense.
“It depends on many things. If he could in fact take the stand, it opens up a lifetime of questions,” he told Rolling Stone. “Many of these events date back 10 to 15 years or more. And he’s been with thousands of women. For him to discern someone from 15 years ago, it’s difficult.”