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Hollywood star Kevin Spacey in court over sexual assault charge

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Actor Kevin Spacey arrives to face a sexual assault charge at Nantucket District Court in Nantucket, Massachusetts, U.S. Photo: REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Actor Kevin Spacey arrives to face a sexual assault charge at Nantucket District Court in Nantucket, Massachusetts, U.S. Photo: REUTERS/Brian Snyder

REUTERS

Actor Kevin Spacey arrives to face a sexual assault charge at Nantucket District Court in Nantucket, Massachusetts, U.S. Photo: REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Kevin Spacey has arrived at court to answer accusations that he groped a young man in a bar on a resort island in Massachusetts in the US in 2016.

The two-time Oscar winner has said he will plead not guilty in Nantucket District Court to felony indecent assault and battery.

The hearing comes more than a year after a former Boston TV anchor accused the former House Of Cards star of sexually assaulting her son, then 18, in the crowded bar at the Club Car, where the teenager worked.

Spacey's lawyer Alan Jackson has sought to poke holes in the case, noting that the teenager did not immediately report the allegations.

If convicted, Spacey faces as many as five years in prison.

Media trucks lined the street before dawn, and locals on the island, which teems with tourists in the summer but quietens down in the winter, drove by slowly to take photos of reporters standing in line in the cold.

When the doors opened, more than two dozen journalists packed the courtroom hours before Spacey was scheduled to appear.

It is the first criminal case brought against Spacey, 59, since other allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced against him in 2017.

A judge denied Spacey's bid to avoid appearing in person.

Spacey had argued his presence would "amplify the negative publicity already generated" by the case.

Television anchor Heather Unruh told reporters in November 2017 that Spacey got her son drunk and then grabbed his genitals during the alleged incident.

She claimed her son fled the restaurant when Spacey went to the toilet.

After the charge was announced last month, Spacey released a video in the voice of Frank Underwood, his character on Netflix's House Of Cards, in which he said: "I'm certainly not going to pay the price for the thing I didn't do."

It was unclear whether he was referring to the charge.

Spacey has also faced other allegations.

His first accuser, actor Anthony Rapp, said Spacey climbed on top of him on a bed when Mr Rapp was 14 and Spacey was 26.

Spacey said he did not remember such an encounter but apologised if the allegations were true.

Online Editors