Kevin Spacey to appear in court on sexual assault charge

Kevin Spacey

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The 59-year-old former House of Cards actor appeared in court for the first time with his legal team for an arraignment in a sexual assault case on Monday morning (January 7) in Nantucket, Mass. A follow-on hearing was scheduled for March 4, but Spacey is not required to attend. Spacey will not be required to appear at that pre-trial hearing, as long as he is available by phone, the judge ruled. Spacey's attorney Alan Jackson told the judge they believe the cellphones contain information that is "likely exculpatory" for Spacey.

But Spacey's lawyer attempted to use the delayed allegations against the victim, claiming his failure to report the assault immediately damages his credibility. Unsurprisingly, Spacey announced a few days ago that he would be pleading not guilty to the charges.

After meeting the actor and telling him he was 23 years old - the legal drinking age is 21 in MA - he said he started drinking first beer and then whiskey with Mr Spacey at his urging. Instead of being asked to enter a plea, the judge told him that if another charge is filed against him while this case is open, he could be held for 90 days without bail.

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"At best, this describes two people engaged in mutual and consensual flirtation, nothing more", his attorneys wrote.

Spacey could face up to five years in prison if convicted. A wave of misconduct accusations followed, one of which came from news reporter Heather Unruh, who says Spacey groped her son at a Nantucket bar where he worked, leading to Spacey's criminal charges.

The accuser told police that 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.

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Sexual assault allegations saw Spacey axed from Netflix's House of Cards.

Prosecutors requested Spacey have no contact, direct or indirect, with his accuser, which the judge granted.

On the same day that Spacey was charged with felony sexual assault, the actor released a video on his social media accounts, in which he seemed to be channeling his deceased House of Cards character, Frank Underwood, and lashed out at his accusers and their supporters. It was unclear whether he was referring to the charge. She also said how her son left the restaurant when Spacey went to the bathroom.

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Both governments "might also serve as a backstop if the USA government for whatever reason fails to aggressively pursue his case". David Whelan said his brother's "innocence is undoubted and we trust that his rights will be respected".

The first public report of alleged abuse by him came from actor Anthony Rapp, who claimed that Mr Spacey sexually abused him when Mr Rapp was 14, in 1986.

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