Here’s the 411…
An unnamed man claimed that former House of Cards star, Kevin Spacey, had groped him at a Nantucket bar where he worked as a busboy in 2016. He was a teenager at the time of the alleged groping incident.
The charges against Spacey were dropped after the accuser refused to testify about a cell phone that mysteriously went missing as the investigation progressed. The defense claims that the missing phone had deleted text messages on it that would support Spacey’s claim that he is innocent.
Spacey was charged with indecent assault and battery last year in the only criminal case that has been brought against the actor since his career collapsed amid a slew of sexual misconduct allegations. The two-time Oscar winner 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 denies groping the man, whose mother first went public with the allegations in 2017.
The missing cellphone has become the key to the case. The family says that they do not remember receiving it back from police, but two state troopers who were involved in the investigation have testified that the phone was returned.
The accuser was ordered to take the stand to testify about the missing cellphone earlier this month. He said that he lost it the night of the alleged groping. He also denied deleting text messages and manipulating screenshots of conversations in order to bolster his case. However, when asked if he was aware that tampering with evidence was a crime, the accuser invoked his Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination. The judge ordered his testimony be stricken from the record.
Because the accuser refused to testify, prosecutors told the judge that they needed time to consider how they would proceed with the case.
Prosecutors met with the young man and his lawyer on Sunday telling them that the case could not move forward without his testimony. In an email statement, the prosecutor said that the man “elected not to waive his right under the Fifth Amendment,” however, they said that in order to proceed, they would need more than just his uncorroborated testimony and offered him immunity. Further, prosecutors said that “a grant of immunity compromises the witness to a degree which, in a case where the credibility of the witness is paramount, makes the further prosecution untenable.”
On Wednesday, Cape and Island District Attorney Michael O’Keefe said in court documents that they were dropping the charge “due to an unavailability of the complaining witness.”
The accuser’s mother claims that Spacey was buying drinks for her underage son and got him drunk before allegedly groping him for three minutes.
The man’s mother, former Boston TV anchor Heather Unruh, alleged in 2017 that Spacey got her son drunk and sexually assaulted him at the Club Car, a bar on Nantucket where the teen worked as a busboy.
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. He said Spacey bought him several drinks and tried to persuade him to come home with him before unzipping the man’s pants and groping him for about three minutes.
Unruh’s son told police he tried to move Spacey’s hands, but the groping continued, and he didn’t know what to do because he didn’t want to get in trouble for drinking because he was underage. The man said he fled when Spacey went to the bathroom.
Source: Associated Press
The accuser also recently dropped a civil case against Spacey seeking damages for “severe and permanent mental distress and emotional injuries.” The lawyer for the accused says that his client was emotionally overwhelmed and was choosing to focus on the criminal case.
The accuser’s mother says that he did not receive a settlement to drop the case. The civil suit was dismissed with prejudice — meaning it cannot be refiled.
So, it seems that Kevin Spacey is off the hook in this particular instance. The criminal charges have been dropped and the civil case was also dismissed.
What do you think about the charges being dropped?
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