Actor Kevin Spacey is due in court today to answer accusations that he groped a young man in a bar on the resort island of Nantucket in 2016.
ABC News reported that the two-time Oscar winner has said he will plead not guilty to felony indecent assault and battery at a hearing that comes more than one year after a former Boston TV anchor accused the actor of sexually assaulting her son, then just 18, at the Club Car where the teen worked as a busboy.
ABC News noted that Spacey’s lawyer, Alan Jackson, will try to allege that the teenager didn’t immediately report the allegations in an attempt to poke holes in his story.
If he is convicted of the charges, the former House of Cards actor could potentially face up to five years in prison, per the ABC News report.
The civil attorney for the accuser said in a statement ahead of the hearing that his client is “leading by example,” reported ABC News.
“By reporting the sexual assault, my client is a determined and encouraging voice for those victims not yet ready to report being sexually assaulted,” said lawyer Mitchell Garabedian, whom ABC News clarified is not a part of the criminal case against Spacey.
This is the first criminal case brought against Spacey, 59, since allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced against him in 2017 by actor Anthony Rapp.
Rapp alleged that Spacey climbed on top of him on a bed when Rapp was 14 and Spacey was 26.
In a response to Rapp’s charges, Spacey took to social media and stated he did not remember such an encounter with the actor but apologized if the allegations were true.
Spacey attempted to avoid appearing in person at the Nantucket District Court, but his motion was denied by a judge.
ABC News reported that the actor argued his presence would “amplify the negative publicity already generated” by the case.
Another Spacey accuser, television anchor Heather Unruh, revealed in 2017 that Spacey got her son drunk and grabbed his genitals.
After the charges against him were announced in December of 2018, the actor took to social media with a bizarre video voiced in the character of Frank Underwood, his former character on Netflix’s House of Cards.
In the video, Spacey remarked, “I’m certainly not going to pay the price for the thing I didn’t do.”
Spacey did not refer specifically to the charges intended in the uploaded video.
Inquisitr will continue to update this story as it evolves.