Academy Award winner Kevin Spacey appeared in court today to enter a plea of not guilty to a single felony charge of indecent assault and battery in regard to allegations involving an 18-year-old male at a Nantucket bar in 2016.
After the brief 10-minute hearing, Judge Thomas S. Barrett released Spacey on his own recognizance, according to NBC10Boston.
— The Boston Globe (@BostonGlobe) January 7, 2019
The allegations were made public in November 2017 by former local news anchor Heather Unruh, who claims Spacey groped her then-18-year-old son at the Club Car Restaurant in July 2016. Her son was employed there at the time as a bus boy.
According to documents filed in court, the teen asked to meet the Oscar winner after his shift ended at the restaurant. The young man admitted to investigators that he told Spacey he was 23-years-old.
Unruh says Spacey bought the teen several drinks and eventually sexually assaulted her son by groping the teen’s leg. The teen says Spacey continued by unzipping his pants and touching him without consent.
The alleged groping, according to the court filing, went on for some minutes. The teen told the police investigator that he didn’t say anything or walk away during the assault.
The young man apparently sent video of Spacey touching him to his girlfriend via Snapchat.
Spacey allegedly asked the boy to go back to the house where he was staying, which the teen says made him uncomfortable.
But an audio recording of a December 2018 court hearing, obtained by The Boston Globe, shows Spacey’s legal team asserts the encounter was consensual.
Spacey’s attorneys point to the fact that the boy did not immediately report the incident to police. In fact, the teen wasn’t interviewed in person until a year later.
The 59-year-old’s lawyers also note that the alleged victim admits to approaching Spacey first, and lying about his age.
Further, Spacey’s attorney Alan Jackson says the teen’s admission that the alleged groping went on for approximately three minutes but he made no move to stop it shows the encounter was consensual.
Said Jackson, per the audio recording, “That's an incredibly long time to have a strange man's hands in your pants, correct?"
Judge Barrett scheduled a March 4 pre-trial hearing which Spacey will not be required to attend, although he must be available by telephone.
If found guilty, Spacey could face up to five years in prison or up to 2½ years in a house of correction. A finding of guilty would also require Spacey to register as a sex offender.
These allegations are just part of a firestorm of accusations of sexual misconduct leveled at Spacey during the height of the #MeToo movement beginning in fall of 2017.
Spacey was eventually fired from his hit Netflix series, House of Cards, and was replaced in the already-completed film, All the Money in the World.
After the December court hearing, Spacey released a bizarre video via YouTube where he reprised his House of Cards character, Frank Underwood, urging the viewer to not rush to judgement.
"Despite even my own death, I feel surprisingly good, and my confidence grows each day that soon enough you will know the full truth," said Spacey in the video.