LOS ANGELES — The Associated Press and other mainstream news outlets have started publishing selections from the grand jury testimony by alleged victims against Ron Jeremy, three weeks after the grand jury returned an indictment after a meeting conducted in secrecy and without press present by the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office.
XBIZ requested a copy of the transcript from the D.A.’s office and the court and were directed to the court’s Official Reporter, René Evanko, who requested $805 to be sent to her via Venmo for the .pdf of the testimony.
This is apparently standard practice at courthouses in Los Angeles County, several sources have confirmed.
The lack of any possibility to access to the victims’ testimony without paying this exorbitant fee — an amount that dates from the era when paper transcripts had to be laboriously photocopied and collated — adds to the atmosphere of secrecy in which the District Attorney’s office has reported the allegations and details of the stories behind the sexual assault charges.
Jeremy’s attorney, Stuart Goldfarb, has repeatedly complained that he cannot conduct a proper defense without knowing the names of the 21 alleged victims — from the original 23, after two recently dropped from the D.A.’s case — or of the witnesses.
District Attorney Paul Thompson, one of the D.A.s leading the case, fought Goldfarb’s for access to this information since Jeremy was arrested in June 2020, stating repeatedly that Goldfarb would have a chance to review the details “during the preliminary hearing.”
But instead of proceeding with the preliminary hearing, finally scheduled for October, the District Attorney instead convened a grand jury last month without informing the press and gathered the victims’ testimonies there in writing. The transcript of those meetings is the .pdf that now the Official Reporter is offering to press outlets willing to Venmo her $805.
Last Friday, responding to an XBIZ inquiry, a spokesperson for the D.A.’s office admitted that “there will be no preliminary hearing because there is now a grand jury indictment. The victims’ testimony at the grand jury was transcribed and both the prosecution and defense have copies.”
‘Information Not Everyone Knows About’
Today, XBIZ wrote to the court’s Official Reporter, René Evanko, who told XBIZ that the cost for the transcript — “1,526 pages, plus the index, title pages, and certification page” — was “$805 for a copy.”
“I can get you the transcript today if you can Venmo me,” Evanko added. “That is the way the Associated Press received the transcript so quickly.”
Later, Evanko explained via e-mail that “the court transcripts in California belong to the court Reporter, not the court. I am only permitted to charge what the law allows. Sorry you feel the $805 is absurd. It is what it is and it is not gouging you or any other organization.”
Evanko acknowledged that the steep price to forward a .pdf “is information that not everyone knows about when it comes to court transcripts in California” and warned against attempting to obtain it from someone else.
“California Government Code 69954(d) actually prohibits the sharing of transcripts,” Evanko explained. “I guarantee you it’s not a transparency thing. California legislation just bars anyone from providing it to you. I know it probably seems frustrating to you, but it’s been that way for as long as I’ve been reporting, which is over 35 years.”
The AP Selects 3 Testimonies from the 21 Victims
Meanwhile, the Associated Press published a report this weekend filed by Andrew Dalton, one of their Entertainment Writers, providing an extremely selective account of some of the accusations on the transcript. The report also lists a writer in Chicago contributing to the report, which is sensationalistically headlined “Women Say They Met Porn Actor Jeremy for Fun; Rape Came Next.”
The incidents selected by the AP for their story include details from only three of the 21 alleged victims, although Dalton also mention some details that “many of the women” apparently testified about:
- Jane Doe 8: “‘Wouldn’t it be funny if we got a picture and an autograph from him?’ one woman […] said she remembered telling her friend when they saw Jeremy in 2013 at a West Hollywood bar and grill. He would sexually assault her minutes later, testified the woman, one of several who said their attacks came in the same small bathroom.”
- Jane Doe 7: “‘I was like, wow, you know, this is Ron Jeremy, I mean, I was kind of impressed. I’m like he’s — I don’t want to say “celebrity,” but you know, he kind of was’, said another woman […] when Jeremy came to the door of the Hollywood hotel room she was sharing with friends, where the porn actor would rape her soon after, according to her testimony.”
- Jane Doe 5: “Some didn’t even recognize him initially, but they came into his orbit because of the air of fame around him. A woman whom Jeremy is charged with sexually assaulting when she was 15 in 2004 said she approached him at a rave he was hosting in Santa Clarita, California. ‘I didn’t know who he was, but I just — everyone told me he was famous so I was excited to meet a celebrity,’ said the woman, now 33. […] After they met, he invited her backstage, where he asked her if she wanted to see ‘something cool,’ then lifted her in the air, put his hand under her skirt and molested her, she said.”
Dalton added some details from the transcript about Jeremy’s alleged m.o.
“He was a popular regular at the Rainbow Bar and Grill on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood, where he had permission to use the employee bathroom,” the AP writer described. “He would lure women there by offering to show them the kitchen where the restaurant made its famous pizzas, or by telling them he knew a bathroom they could use when the public restrooms were closed after last call. He would follow them into the small space, lock the door behind them, use his considerable size to block them from leaving, then rape them or engage in other sexual assault, several women testified.”
XBIZ will provide a more detailed account of the allegations against Jeremy as soon as the court Reporter makes it available.
For XBIZ’s ongoing coverage of the Ron Jeremy case, click here.