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Tuesday, July 16, 2024 | Back issues
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Judge orders mental health evaluation for adult film star Ron Jeremy

The former porn actor-director, accused of dozens of counts of sexual assault, said he didn't recognize his attorney — and the bailiff agreed he seemed incoherent.

LOS ANGELES (CN) — Porn star Ron Jeremy was set to appear at a hearing Thursday in Los Angeles, but he never showed up. Instead, his lawyer told the court that his client, whose real name is Ron Jeremy Hyatt, had refused to leave his jail cell.

"I tried to get his attention, unsuccessfully," his attorney Stu Goldfarb told the judge. "He was unable to determine who I was. I don’t think he should be forced to come down here under these circumstances."

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge George Lomeli added: "The bailiff shared as well that he appeared to be incoherent."

Lomeli ordered Jeremy to undergo a psychiatric evaluation by two psychiatrists, one from the prosecution and one from the defense, and the case will be referred to the mental health courthouse. Should Jeremy be declared competent, the trial will continue.

Jeremy, 69, a longtime porn actor and director, faces 34 counts of various forms of sexual assault involving 21 different women, including 12 counts of forcible rape and one count of performing a lewd act on a 15-year-old. Jeremy has pleaded not guilty.

In jail since June 2020, his health is clearly flailing. At a court hearing this past December, he appeared in a wheelchair, his long hair and bushy beard white as snow. On Thursday, the bailiff told the judge that Jeremy can walk with difficulty, capable only of taking the smallest of steps.

Both Goldfarb and the prosecutors declined to comment after the hearing.

Thursday's hearing involved a motion by Jeremy's lawyer to separate the trial into 21 separate trials for each of the alleged victims, identified by the court as Jane Does.

"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," the motion says. "The sheer fact that Mr. Hyatt will have to defend himself against 24 accusers and 25 incidents that took place over the course of nearly 40 years will necessarily mean that his defense to every charge will not be the same."

Trying a defendant 21 different times in a row would be an unprecedented move. The proceedings would stretch on for years, perhaps more than a decade.

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Categories / Criminal, Entertainment

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