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Actor Kevin Spacey appeared in Nantucket District Court this morning, and, while he didn't speak during the hearing, his lawyer entered a not guilty plea to one count of felony indecent assault and battery. Spacey has been accused of putting his hand down the pants of a then-18-year-old who was working at an upscale bar on the island in July 2016.
Along with the criminal charge, Spacey could be facing a civil lawsuit as well.
The alleged victim's name has not been publicly released, but he has been identified as the son of former WCVB anchor Heather Unruh. Unruh's son told police in October 2017 that Spacey got him intoxicated at The Club Car after his work shift there, saying Spacey bought him several rounds of beer and whiskey and told him, "Let's get drunk." According to charging documents, Spacey asked the victim some sexual questions before the actor stuck his hand down the teen's pants. The victim also told officers he sent his girlfriend a Snapchat video of Spacey groping him as evidence, and authorities claim to have a clip of a hand touching a shirt.
Spacey's attorney, Alan Jackson, described the incident as "mutual and consensual flirtation, nothing more."
As part of Spacey's release on his own recognizance, Judge Thomas Barrett ordered him stay away from Unruh's son. Judge Barrett also ordered the victim to preserve all the texts on the phones and cloud backups for the teen and his girlfriend from the time of the incident in July 2016 to the present. Jackson made the request, saying he expects some of the texts or Snapchat evidence will be "likely exculpatory" for Spacey.
"Any text messages or Snapchats sent during and after the alleged incident are relevant to the issue of consent and/or whether lack of consent was fairly communicated," Jackson wrote. While prosecutors called the motion a "fishing expedition," Judge Barrett ordered the preservation for six months starting in July 2016.
If convicted, Spacey could face up to five years in prison.
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