L.A. County prosecutors bring Ron Jeremy sex assault case to grand jury

Los Angeles, CA, Tuesday, June 23, 2020 - Adult film star Ron Jeremy is leaves Dept. 30 at LA Superior Court after appearing on four counts of sexual assault. (POOL PHOTO/ Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Adult film star Ron Jeremy is arraigned on rape charges in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Prosecutors have taken the sexual assault case against Ron Jeremy to a grand jury and will seek to indict the disgraced porn icon on dozens of counts of rape and sexual battery, law enforcement officials told The Times this week.

The grand jury will hear testimony from the nearly two dozen women who have accused Jeremy of attacking them in Southern California, with some of the allegations dating back more than a quarter-century, according to two officials with direct knowledge of the case. The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity in order to discuss the matter candidly, as grand jury proceedings are normally secret.

The news was first reported by XBIZ, a trade publication that covers the adult film industry.

A spokesman for the Los Angeles County district attorney's office declined to comment.

The attorney representing Jeremy, Stu Goldfarb, questioned why prosecutors were just now seeking an indictment, more than a year after Jeremy was first charged with four counts of rape, sexual battery and forcible oral copulation in June 2020.

Goldfarb has repeatedly expressed frustration that prosecutors were not planning to turn over the identities or addresses of Jeremy's accusers before the preliminary hearing, which was initially scheduled for early August. Earlier this year, Goldfarb petitioned the state Supreme Court for relief on that issue, but he was denied, records show.

Prosecutors allege Jeremy leveraged his celebrity to prey on vulnerable victims along the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood. Within days of his arrest, prosecutors said, they received at least 25 new complaints of sexual misconduct against Jeremy, 13 of which involved accusers who said they were attacked in Southern California.

Last August, six additional women told The Times they had been assaulted or groped by Jeremy at adult film conventions, clubs and brothels throughout the United States. At least one of those victims' allegations has since become part of the criminal case against Jeremy in Los Angeles, according to a person with knowledge of the case.

Prosecutors amended the complaint against Jeremy twice last year, adding a raft of charges that included an allegation that he sexually assaulted a 15-year-old girl at a party in Santa Clarita. In total, Jeremy faces 34 counts of rape, sexual battery and forcible oral copulation stemming from allegations made by 23 women.

Jeremy has denied all wrongdoing.

The decision to bring the case to a grand jury mirrors prosecutors' strategy in another high-profile sexual assault case in Los Angeles. Earlier this year, Harvey Weinstein was indicted on 11 counts of sexual assault shortly before he was extradited to California from New York, where he was imprisoned following his 2020 conviction on rape charges in Manhattan.

In that case, officials told The Times prosecutors sought an indictment so they could skip a public preliminary hearing and hopefully preempt any speedy trial issues.

Jeremy's preliminary hearing was originally scheduled to take place in early August, but Goldfarb sought a continuance. Court records show a new preliminary hearing date has been set for Oct. 25, but that would be abandoned if a grand jury returns an indictment.

On Wednesday, Goldfarb accused prosecutors of taking the case to a grand jury to avoid providing him with the identities of the accusers.

“Essentially it’s a way of not having to comply with the present law in the state of California," he said.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.