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Ron Jeremy's accusers are disappointed the former porn star won't go to trial

Adult film star Ron Jeremy listens as his attorney Stuart Goldfarb speaks during his arraignment on rape and sexual assault charges at Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center in Los Angeles on June 26, 2020.
David McNew
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Adult film star Ron Jeremy listens as his attorney Stuart Goldfarb speaks during his arraignment on rape and sexual assault charges at Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center in Los Angeles on June 26, 2020.

The alleged victims of former adult film star Ron Jeremy won't have their day in court anytime soon — if at all — now that a California judge has declared Jeremy incompetent to stand trial.

The ruling Tuesday effectively hit pause on the criminal case against Jeremy, who has pleaded not guilty to 34 counts of sexual assault, including 12 counts of rape, dating back to 1996.

Gloria Allred, the high-profile attorney who said she represents two of the "Jane Doe" victims named in the indictment against Jeremy, told NPR that the ruling was "very disturbing" to her clients.

"It is very distressing," she said. "Both were ready to testify at the trial."

Allred said the victims have had to relive their experiences with Jeremy multiple times throughout the legal process but now may not get to see him prosecuted.

"They have worked with law enforcement. They've testified before a grand jury," she said. "They've had to explain, tell what happened to them over and over and over with the hope that one day they could achieve justice, and now the hope is dimming."

Superior Court Judge Ronald S. Harris said Tuesday that Jeremy, whose legal name is Ronald Jeremy Hyatt, has "incurable neurocognitive decline." An upcoming hearing will determine whether to place the 69-year-old in a state hospital.

Stuart Goldfarb, Jeremy's attorney, said in an emailed statement that he believes his client is innocent and that "unfortunately due to his mental health issues his case will not go to trial."

Allred suggested Jeremy could be reevaluated after he receives treatment, and a trial could move forward if he were deemed competent in the future.

"I can say that I'm not optimistic about it, but one never knows," she added.

The Los Angeles Times first reported earlier this month that Jeremy would likely be deemed incompetent to stand trial.

Lianne Young, a former British adult film star who accused Jeremy of sexually assaulting her in 2000, told the newspaper that her first reaction was "kind of numb."

"They were aware of his condition before getting us all involved. They were well aware he had dementia, so I'm very disappointed that they didn't solve that bit before letting us go on that emotional journey for 2 1/2 years," Young said.

A spokesperson for the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office told the Times that prosecutors had no records showing Jeremy had dementia when charges were brought.

Among the other high-profile people who were accused of sexual misdeeds as a result of the #MeToo movement was the well-connected financier Jeffrey Epstein, who died in prison in 2019 before he could go to trial on sex trafficking charges.

Despite Epstein's death, a federal judge still allowed accusers, prosecutors and defense attorneys to speak about their experiences in court before the case was eventually dismissed.

This report includes material from NPR staff and The Associated Press.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.