Entertainment Celebrity Kevin Spacey faces court on sex assault charge

Kevin Spacey faces court on sex assault charge

Kevin Spacey
Eleven men have come forward with allegations against Kevin Spacey. Photo: Getty
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American actor Kevin Spacey has pleaded not guilty to sexually assaulting an 18-year-old man after plying him with alcohol at a bar in 2016.

Spacey kept silent during and after his brief pre-trial hearing in a Massachusetts court on Tuesday morning (Australian time), and could be seen smiling broadly as he was driven away.

The former House of Cards actor was charged in December with one count of felony indecent assault and battery.

He did not voice his expected plea of not guilty but his Los Angeles-based attorney Alan Jackson entered one on his behalf.

Spacey was ordered by a judge to have no contact, direct or indirect, with his accuser.

The judge also approved a request by Spacey’s lawyers that the court preserves the alleged victim’s phone data, including all text messages
from the date of the incident until six months afterward.
His lawyers believed it could contain “likely exculpatory” evidence for Spacey.
Spacey is not required to attend his next court appearance on March 4 but he must be reachable by phone.

His court appearance comes more than a year after former Boston television journalist Heather Unruh raised the allegations involving her teenage son.

She claimed Spacey groped her son on July 7, 2016 at the Club Car restaurant and bar, where he worked as a bus boy.

Ms Unruh’s son told police Spacey had bought him several rounds of beer and whiskey and said at one point, “Let’s get drunk”, according to charging documents.

The teen told police that he sent his girlfriend a video of the incident.

If found guilty, Spacey faces fives years in jail.

A lawyer for the victim said he hoped to encourage other victims of sex assault to come forward.

“My client is a determined and encouraging voice for those victims not yet ready to report being sexually assaulted,” lawyer Mitchell Garabedian said in an email. “My client is leading by example.”

Spacey is one of dozens of men in entertainment, business and politics who have been accused of sexual misconduct since accusations against movie producer Harvey Weinstein in 2017 sparked the MeToo movement.

Spacey became embroiled in controversy in October 2017 when actor Anthony Rapp accused him of trying to seduce him in 1986 when Mr Rapp was 14.

Spacey apologised for inappropriate conduct with Mr Rapp.

The controversy led to Spacey, who won an Academy Award in 2000 for his role in American Beauty, being dropped from the Netflix television series House of Cards and erased from the film All the Money in the World.

-with AAP