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Saturday, March 2, 2024
March 2, 2024

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Jeremy’s alleged victims share fury, acceptance after latest twist in court case

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When Alana Evans found out Ron Jeremy’s rape case would end with him being released to a “private residence,” she said it left her emotionally drained and completely derailed.

A longtime adult film entertainer and president of the Adult Performance Artists Guild, Evans testified before the Los Angeles County grand jury that indicted Jeremy on more than 30 counts of sexual assault in 2021 and spent years working with women in the porn industry who decided to speak out against one of its most legendary figures.

It was unlikely Jeremy would ever stand trial after a court declared him mentally incompetent in January because of symptoms related to “severe dementia, “ but Evans said Friday’s news felt like a final knife twist.

“I feel betrayed because at no point along the way, during this path of ‘Ron is suffering from dementia’ and the incompetence issue coming up, never did they say he could be sent home. It was always he’ll go to a facility,” Evans said. “We all came forward. We all told our stories. We all put this effort into their case, and I feel 100% let down by the system.”

A judge’s decision to order Jeremy released into private care last week seemingly ended the four-year legal saga that saw dozens of women accuse America’s most famous porn star of rape after he was arrested on sexual assault charges in 2020.

Accusations came from sex workers who knew Jeremy for decades and patrons of Sunset Strip bars whom Jeremy allegedly attacked at random. In one incident, prosecutors said, Jeremy allegedly assaulted a 15-year-old girl at a Santa Clarita house party. Jeremy has denied all wrongdoing.

The 70-year-old’s fitness to stand trial has been in question since last March, when Jeremy’s criminal defense attorney walked into a downtown L.A. courtroom and insisted his client did not recognize him.

News that Jeremy will now be released to a facility that may not even have security has roiled many of the women who made the decision to speak out about his alleged abuses on porn sets and at industry parties dating back nearly 30 years. After the public discord, prosecutors filed a motion asking a judge to reconsider Jeremy’s placement, according to Tiffiny Blacknell, director of communications for the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office. That hearing will take place Thursday.

“I am profoundly disturbed by the release of Ron Jeremy, who is accountable for serial rapes, based on the grounds of deteriorating dementia. While recognizing the importance of addressing health issues, it is crucial for the justice system to balance the rights of the accused with the safety of the community,” Lianne Young, who first accused Jeremy of assault in a 2020 interview with The Times, said in a statement.

“This situation underscores the need for careful consideration of public safety concerns,” she added, “as well as a thorough evaluation of legal and ethical implications surrounding the release of individuals facing serious criminal charges.”

Court records show Jeremy’s health declined to the point that he was placed under the care of a conservator in March. In court on Nov. 17, attorneys advocating for Jeremy argued he is now “essentially bedridden” and no longer a threat to the public, according to an email obtained by The Times.

Jeremy has been held in the medical wing of the Twin Towers Correctional Facility in downtown L.A. since January. Despite the abuse allegations made against Jeremy, he has not been convicted of a crime. He is unlikely to recover from his dementia and be restored to competency, according to court records, meaning he cannot be housed in a state hospital.

That left his conservator to seek to have him housed in a private medical facility with a “secured perimeter dementia” ward, according to a filing submitted to the Mental Health Court in August. As of July, however, nine such facilities refused to take Jeremy on as a patient. A Ventura County facility did consider caring for Jeremy but also ultimately rejected him, records show.

The court filings do not state a reason for the facilities’ decisions. Jeremy’s conservator declined to speak with The Times.

The Los Angeles County district attorney’s office opposed the judge’s decision last week to release Jeremy, expressing concern that he might try to assault caregivers. But a judge in the Hollywood Mental Health Court overruled the prosecutor’s objection.

It remains unclear exactly where Jeremy will be housed. The district attorney’s office referred questions to an attorney for Jeremy’s conservator, who did not return a call seeking comment.

Some of those who worked hardest to bring Jeremy to justice, however, said it was time to move on.

Ginger Banks, a performer and sex worker advocate who compiled more than 100 accusations of groping and assault against Jeremy in 2017, said she truly believes he is too sick to do any more damage.

“I really don’t think he has the mental capacity or the physical capacity to hurt anybody right now, and I think the point of our justice system should be to prevent people from hurting other people until they’re rehabilitated,” she said.

Banks — who says Jeremy groped her the first time they met — believes he has been convicted “in the court of public opinion” and is hopeful fallout of the broader #MeToo movement will lead women to continue speaking out against alleged abuses.

“We’ve seen a complete change in society about women coming forward about this. … I think that societal shift is going to outweigh this one court decision,” Banks said.

Young echoed those statements, saying victims need to continue coming forward even when the legal system doesn’t produce the outcome they hope for.

“Reporting a sexual assault can lead to increased awareness, support, and resources for survivors,” she said. “It is my sincere hope that despite my experience, survivors will find the strength to share their stories and seek justice.”

But Evans said she believes Jeremy “got away with” dozens of assaults and that the end result of the court case will only embolden his defenders within the adult film industry. A number of actors and producers, including some Evans counts as friends, still believe Jeremy is innocent. The lack of a conviction, she fears, will only further discourage adult entertainers from calling out abusive behavior in their industry.

“They absolutely think that this absolves him and that is the most alarming part. This sets precedents, this sets a tone that it’s OK for this behavior,” she said.

In 2017, after a Rolling Stone article first brought allegations against Jeremy into the public eye, Evans said she was invited to lunch by Jeremy and the producers of several films she’d worked on. They were hoping she’d use her position as head of the union representing the vast majority of adult film performers to speak out on Jeremy’s behalf.

Evans was stunned. Jeremy had allegedly assaulted her in 2008 by running his hand up her skirt, and she’d confronted him about it before. It was as if he didn’t remember, or didn’t care, she said.

“I feel his hands. That disgustingness does not ever go away,” she said, adding that she is skeptical that Jeremy is truly as sick as his advocates claim.

An official with direct knowledge of Jeremy’s health, who spoke to The Times on condition of anonymity in order to discuss his medical condition candidly, insisted the disgraced porn king will not be enjoying himself, wherever he ends up.

“It’s not like he’s going to be living his best life. He has no idea what’s going on,” the official said. “He’s going to be a prisoner in his own body.”

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