Prosecutors announced Wednesday afternoon that they will be dropping charges against Kevin Spacey, who was accused of groping an 18-year-old man at a Nantucket bar in 2016.
At a July 8 hearing in Nantucket, the case took an unexpected twist when the accuser chose to exercise his Fifth Amendment right not to testify in court, excusing himself from further questioning and striking the testimony he had already given from the record.
“This case needs to be dismissed and I believe it needs to be dismissed today,” Spacey’s defense attorney, Alan Jackson, said after he learned of the accuser’s choice.
According to a press release Boston received from the DA’s office, the accuser was informed Sunday that if he chose to continue to invoke the Fifth, the case could not move forward.
“After a further period of reflection privately with his lawyer, the complaining witness elected not to waive his right under the Fifth Amendment,” the release reads.
“My client and his family have shown an enormous amount of courage under difficult circumstances,” Mitchell Garabedian, the attorney representing the accuser, told Boston 25 News. “I have no further comment at this time.”
Spacey, 59, faced criminal charges of indecent assault and battery in connection with the 2016 incident. The alleged assault was first made public in November 2017, when the mother of the alleged victim, former Boston TV news anchor Heather Unruh, claimed at a press conference that Spacey bought her underage son drinks, stuck his hands down his pants, and grabbed his genitals. Spacey was arraigned in January and pleaded not guilty.
After the accuser chose to plead the Fifth, there was speculation that the prosecution’s case would fall apart. A critical piece of evidence, the cell phone the accuser had during the alleged assault, had already gone missing, and Unruh admitted to deleting some of its contents before handing it over to the police. Without both the testimony from the accuser—the only witness to the alleged assault—and the corroborating evidence of the cell phone, it seems the prosecution’s case was rendered unviable.
This is a developing story.
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