Entertainment Movies

Saturday 17 August 2019

Kevin Spacey ‘grope’ case could be dismissed after accuser takes Fifth Amendment

The complainant invoked his right to silence after he was grilled about a mobile phone which contains information the actor says will exonerate him.

Kevin Spacey (Matt Crossick/PA)
Kevin Spacey (Matt Crossick/PA)

By Associated Press Reporters

A judge has questioned the viability of the case against Kevin Spacey after the man who accused the actor of groping him at a Massachusetts resort island bar in 2016 asserted his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination and refused to give evidence.

The development came after he was being questioned by the actor’s lawyer about text messages the defence claims were deleted.

The man was ordered to give evidence after he failed to turn over the phone he used that night to the defence and then said it was lost.

ipanews_95004d40-4d74-422e-85de-62009b7b05e3_embedded243995852
Kevin Spacey at a previous hearing (Steven Senne/AP)

Spacey’s lawyers say the man deleted messages from his phone that would support Spacey’s claims of innocence and then provided investigators with manipulated screenshots of conversations from that night.

The accuser, speaking publicly for the first time, said he gave police what he had “available” to him “at the time” and did not manipulate any of the messages.

“I have no knowledge of any deletions of messages on my phone,” the man said.

Complainants in cases of alleged sexual misconduct are not generally identified in the media unless they identify themselves publicly.

The matter may well be dismissed for the reasons indicated. It's not going to happen today Judge Thomas Barrett

After being pressed by Spacey’s lawyer about whether he knew that altering evidence used in a prosecution is a crime, the man invoked his right against self-incrimination, and the judge said Monday’s evidence would be stricken from the record.

Spacey’s lawyer urged the judge to dismiss the case, calling it “completely compromised”.

The judge acknowledged that prosecutors would have a tough time bringing the case to trial if the man will not give evidence.

“Once exercised, it may be pretty hard to get around this privilege at trial. The matter may well be dismissed for the reasons indicated. It’s not going to happen today,” Judge Thomas Barrett said.

The man’s lawyer, Mitchell Garabedian, said they cannot find the phone, but were able to retrieve a copy of its contents that had been backed up to a computer.

An officer said he recalls giving the phone back to the man’s father, but neither the accuser nor his parents remember that, Mr Garabedian said.

Spacey’s lawyer said a backup copy of the phone is not enough.

“None of that answers the central question, which is: Where is the actual phone? That’s what we want. That’s what we’re entitled to, and we still don’t have it,” Mr Jackson said.

Spacey was not required to attend Monday’s hearing, and he did not appear.

The accuser’s evidence comes days after the man voluntarily dismissed a lawsuit that he had filed against the actor about a week earlier.

Mr Garabedian said the man dropped the civil case because he’s on an “emotional rollercoaster” and wants to focus on the criminal matter.

“He only wanted one roller coaster ride at a time. The criminal case is enough,” Mr Garabedian said.

ipanews_95004d40-4d74-422e-85de-62009b7b05e3_embedded243936301
Kevin Spacey arrives at district court for a previous hearing (Steven Senne/AP)

Spacey, who has denied the groping the teen, pleaded not guilty to indecent assault and battery in January.

His lawyers have accused the man of lying in the hopes of winning money in a civil case against Spacey.

The man told police he went over to talk to Spacey after his shift ended at Nantucket’s Club Car bar because he wanted to get a picture with the actor.

He 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 because he was underage.

The man said he fled when Spacey went to the bathroom.

PA Media

Editors Choice

Also in Entertainment

Back to top