On Wednesday, prosecutors dropped a criminal case against Kevin Spacey after the man who accused him of assault exercised his Fifth Amendment right on the witness stand in a pre-trial hearing, reported CNN. Cape and Islands District Attorney Michael O’Keefe said the criminal charge of indecent assault and battery against Spacey was dropped “due to the unavailability of the complaining witness.”
The alleged victim claimed that three years ago, Spacey bought him alcohol at a Nantucket bar and then proceeded to grope him. The former House of Cards star pleaded not guilty to the accusations and would have faced five years in prison if the trial had gone forth and he had been convicted.
A pre-trial hearing, which took place on July 8, occurred after the accuser’s cell phone, which allegedly contained incriminating evidence against Spacey, went missing. The actor’s lawyers claimed that the accuser had deleted text messages from his phone and that it could be used to prove Spacey’s innocence.
After the accuser pleaded the Fifth Amendment on the witness stand against self-incrimination, his attorney, Mitchell Garabedian, spoke out on his behalf.
“My client and his family have shown an enormous amount of courage under difficult circumstances.”
#breaking The Cape DA's office has filed for dismissal of the #Nantucket groping and assault case against @KevinSpacey. The motion cites the lack of cooperation from the witness who claimed #Spacey assaulted him as a teen at a bar in 2016. pic.twitter.com/LfWH8vVDRr
— David Hurlburt (@David5TV) July 17, 2019
The missing cell phone supposedly contained a short, one-second video that the accuser had sent to his girlfriend during the assault in addition to other text messages. A Nantucket judge ordered the cell phone to be turned over to defense experts to be examined. However, the accuser’s mother, Heather Unruh, claimed that they handed the phone over to prosecutors in 2017 and hadn’t seen it since.
While the accuser testified originally that he did not delete anything off his phone, his mother testified that she had deleted a few things unintentionally.
A police report outlined the alleged assault, which was reported by the accuser’s mother, a former TV news anchor in New England, in November 2017 when she held a press conference to announce what Spacey had supposedly done to her son.
The complainant, an 18-year-old busboy at the Club Car at the time, told the police that Spacey had bought him several alcoholic drinks and then later began rubbing his thigh. Over about three minutes, Spacey unzipped the busboy’s pants and rubbed his penis, both inside and outside of his pants. When the actor got up to go to the bathroom, the accuser then allegedly left the bar and went home.
Spacey has been accused by various men and women of sexual harassment and assault following the #MeToo allegations that began in November of 2017. The actor has been questioned by both U.S. investigators and U.K. authorities in relation to the various accusations.