North America

Prosecutors drop sex assault case against US actor Kevin Spacey

0:00

Prosecutors in Massachusetts dropped a criminal groping case against actor Kevin Spacey, saying the man who accused the Academy Award winner was unavailable as a witness.

Prosecutors have dropped sexual assault proceedings against Kevin Spacey after the case against the Hollywood star collapsed over his alleged victim's refusal to testify.

The accuser said the 59-year-old actor groped him in a bar on the resort island of Nantucket in July 2016. 

Kevin Spacey is escorted with his lawyers Juliane Baliro and Alan Jackson during his earlier arraignment for sexual assault charges at Nantucket District Court
Kevin Spacey is escorted with his lawyers Juliane Baliro and Alan Jackson during his earlier arraignment for sexual assault charges at Nantucket District Court
Getty Images

But Massachusetts prosecutors filed a formal notice of abandonment of indecent assault and battery charges due to "the unavailability of the complaining witness," who had declined to give evidence due to fear of self-incrimination.

Spacey's lawyers had previously accused the man of deleting text messages that would support the actor's defence.

In a document filed on Wednesday, Cape and Islands region District Attorney Michael O’Keefe said he was filing a “nolle prosequi,” against Spacey - dropping the case - “due to the unavailability of the complaining witness.”

The Academy Award winner's lawyer Mitchell Garabedian welcomed the news, calling the allegations against him "patently false". 

“My client and his family have shown an enormous amount of courage under difficult circumstances," he said in a statement.

The 59-year-old actor was one of dozens of men in the entertainment industry, business and politics who have been accused of sexual misconduct following the emergence of the #MeToo movement in 2017.

Prosecutors charged Spacey in the Nantucket case in December.

The former House of Cards actor denied the allegations.
The former House of Cards actor denied the allegations.
Netflix

The accuser told police Spacey had bought him several rounds of beer and whiskey at the Club Car Restaurant on Nantucket in July 2016 when he was 18 and said at one point "let's get drunk", according to charging documents.

As they stood next to a piano, Spacey groped him, the accuser told investigators.

Stay up to date with SBS NEWS

  • App
  • Subscribe
  • Follow
  • Listen
  • Watch