Tuesday 22 October 2019

Kevin Spacey appears in court for hearing over alleged groping case

Spacey has pleaded not guilty to a charge of indecent assault and battery.

Kevin Spacey stands in district court (Nicole Harnishfeger/The Inquirer and Mirror/AP)
Kevin Spacey stands in district court (Nicole Harnishfeger/The Inquirer and Mirror/AP)

By Alanna Durkin Richer, Associated Press

Kevin Spacey has made an unexpected appearance in court where his lawyer demanded access to the phone of the man who has accused the actor of groping him at a bar on the resort island of Nantucket in 2016.

Lawyer Alan Jackson called the case against Spacey “ridiculous” and accused prosecutors of withholding information from the defence.

Mr Jackson urged the judge to set a trial date as soon as possible, saying the former House Of Cards star is “suffering” without a resolution to the case. The judge said the earliest the trial will happen is in the autumn.

“This is a ridiculous case and (prosecutors) should haven’t filed it,” Mr Jackson said.

First assistant district attorney Brian Glenny denied his office misrepresented anything to the defence.

Spacey, who was wearing a grey suit and glasses, sat at a table alongside his lawyers in the Massachusetts court. He occasionally whispered in Mr Jackson’s ear but did not speak during the hearing, or respond to questions from reporters as he walked in and out of the courthouse.

Spacey was not required to attend the hearing and has stayed away from the court except for his arraignment in January, which he tried to avoid.

The 59-year-old, who has pleaded not guilty to indecent assault and battery, faces up to two and a half years in jail if convicted.

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Kevin Spacey in court with his lawyer Alan Jackson (Steven Senne/AP)

His lawyers have stepped up their attacks on the credibility of the man who made the allegations. In court documents filed on Friday, Mr Jackson accused the man of deleting text messages that support Spacey’s claims of innocence.

It is the only criminal case brought against the two-time Oscar winner since his career fell apart amid a flurry of sexual misconduct allegations in 2017.

The case came to light that year when former Boston TV anchor Heather Unruh said Spacey got her son drunk and then sexually assaulted him at the Club Car, a popular restaurant and bar on the resort island off Cape Cod.

Ms Unruh’s son told police he wanted to get a picture with Spacey and went over to talk to him after his shift ended at the Club Car, where he worked. The man said Spacey bought him several drinks and tried to persuade him to come home with him before unzipping the man’s trousers and groping him for about three minutes.

The accuser told police he tried to move Spacey’s hands, but the groping continued, and he did not know what to do because he did not want to get in trouble for drinking. The man said he fled when Spacey went to the toilet.

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The Club Car restaurant (Rodrique Ngowi/AP)

Spacey’s lawyers have called the allegations “patently false” and accused the man of lying in the hopes of making money in a civil case against Spacey.

They argued the two engaged in nothing more than “consensual flirtation” and questioned why, according to the man’s story, he did not object or try to move away if he was being assaulted.

Spacey’s lawyer urged the court in Friday’s motion to order prosecutors to hand over a “complete and unaltered” forensic copy of the accuser’s mobile phone, saying newly produced evidence confirms he “deleted exculpatory text messages and provided falsified screenshots of his conversation from the night in question to law enforcement”.

PA Media

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