Prosecutors dropped a case Wednesday accusing Kevin Spacey of groping a young man at a resort island bar in 2016 after the accuser refused to testify about a missing cellphone the defense says contains information supporting the actor's claims of innocence.
Court records show prosecutors dropped a criminal indecent assault and battery charge against Spacey, citing "the unavailability of the complaining witness". She said Spacey got her 18-year-old son drunk at a crowded restaurant and grabbed his genitals, even as the younger man tried to shift his body away.
Shortly after Spacey was charged, he posted a video on YouTube in the voice of his "House of Cards" character who was killed off after the sexual misconduct allegations emerged, saying "I'm certainly not going to pay the price for the thing I didn't do". Once the accuser invoked the Fifth Amendment, Spacey's Attorney Alan Jackson called for the case to be dismissed immediately if the accuser was indeed attempting not to incriminate himself.
The accuser had been ordered to testify about a cellphone he used the night of the alleged assault.
Mitchell Garabedian, the attorney representing the accuser's family, said in a statement that "my client and his family have shown an enormous amount of courage under hard circumstances".
Prosecutors said they could further pursue the case and grant the accuser immunity but then they would need more than his uncorroborated testimony. "I have no further comment at this time".
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Prosecutors in MA on Wednesday dropped the criminal charges against Academy Award-winning actor Kevin Spacey. But just one week later, the lawsuit was dropped "with prejudice", meaning it can not be refiled.
Spacey, who won an Academy Award in 2000 for his role in "American Beauty", had pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Court filings showed the man's texts from that night included messages saying that Spacey "grabbed my [expletive] like 8 times." and repeatedly texting "Help".
The decision comes after the man accusing Spacey suddenly dropped his civil lawsuit against the Oscar victor.
Spacey first became embroiled in controversy in October 2017 when actor Anthony Rapp accused him of trying to seduce him in 1986, when Rapp was 14.
House of Cards had been cancelled ahead of the allegations coming to light, and Netflix maintained that the decision was made without knowledge of the accusations against the series' leading man. Production on the sixth season of the series was halted as reports of Spacey's engaging in sexual assault and harassment on set began to surface. Spacey apologized for inappropriate conduct with Rapp.