Published: Thu, July 18, 2019
Life&Culture | By Sue Mclaughlin

Police Drop Sexual Assault Charge Against Kevin Spacey

Police Drop Sexual Assault Charge Against Kevin Spacey

MA prosecutors on Wednesday dropped a criminal case against actor Kevin Spacey, a week after a man who accused him of assault pleaded the fifth on the witness stand. The two-time Oscar victor was among the earliest and biggest names to be ensnared in the #MeToo movement against sexual assault and harassment that swept across the entertainment and other industries.

Spacey's lawyers had contended that the cellphone the accuser used on the night of the alleged groping contained information that would exonerate the actor, but claimed that the accuser had deleted text messages relating to Spacey.

The man denied deleting messages or manipulating screenshots of conversations he provided to investigators.

After a recess, the accuser's attorneys said that he would not answer additional questions.

"The complaining witness was informed that if he chose to continue to invoke his Fifth Amendment right, the case would not be able to go forward", the Cape and Islands District Attorney said in a statement.

O'Keefe's office said they had met with Spacey's accuser on Sunday "to further review" the charges "in light of" him taking the Fifth. "After a further period of reflection privately with his lawyer, the complaining witness elected not to waive his right under the Fifth Amendment".

"Nolle Prosequi" is "Latin for 'we shall no longer prosecute, ' " according to Cornell Law, and "is an entry made on the record by a prosecutor in a criminal case or a plaintiff in a civil case stating that he will no longer pursue the matter".

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A hearing had been set for July 31 before prosecutors made a decision to drop the case Wednesday.

"My client and his family have shown an enormous amount of courage under hard circumstances", Garabedian said in a statement on Wednesday.

He declined to comment further.

The hearing at which the accuser testified came days after the man abruptly dropped a lawsuit he had just recently filed against the actor that sought damages for "severe and permanent mental distress and emotional injuries". But just one week later, the lawsuit was dropped "with prejudice", meaning it can not be refiled.

The Nantucket accuser told police Spacey had bought him several rounds of beer and whiskey at the Club Car Restaurant on the island in July 2016 when he was 18 and, according to charging documents, said at one point, "Let's get drunk".

The man told police he went over to talk to Spacey after his shift because he wanted to get a picture with the former "House of Cards" star.

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