Actor Kevin Spacey will plead not guilty to indecent assault and battery charges at the Nantucket court today.
The actor faces five years in prison if charged for repeatedly reaching down into the trousers of a man identified as William Little, who was 18 at the time of the alleged assault in July 2016 at a Nantucket restaurant. He did not enter a plea.
The actor at times stared directly into news cameras before the hearing began, and was instructed to be seated after standing next to Jackson. The judge approved the request.
The erstwhile "House of Cards" star waived his next court appearance, scheduled for March 4.
The charge against Spacey was filed more than a year after former Boston TV news anchor Heather Unruh publicly accused the actor of assaulting her son.
The accuser said he initially lied to Spacey by saying he was a 23-year-old college student and also told investigators that he was the one who approached Spacey, wanting a photo, and proceeded to drink heavily before the alleged assault took place some time after midnight, reports in the case show.
The civil attorney for the accuser said in a statement ahead of the hearing that his client is "leading by example".
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"My client is a determined and encouraging voice for those victims not yet ready to report being sexually assaulted", attorney Mitchell Garabedian said in an email.
In addition to the Nantucket case, two other investigations are underway in Los Angeles and London, where Spacey served as artistic director of the prestigious Old Vic theater from 2004 to 2015.
Once one of Hollywood's most famous and recognizable actors, Spacey's career collapsed in November 2017 following several allegations of sexual assault and harassment.
Spacey walks to his auto outside of the Nantucket District Courthouse. Spacey had argued his presence would "amplify the negative publicity already generated" by the case.
He said that after three minutes of this, Spacey went to the bathroom.
Spacey vanished from public view until Christmas Eve, when he released a video reprising his House Of Cards role as President Frank Underwood. It was unclear whether he was referring to the charge.
Spacey became embroiled in controversy in October 2017 when actor Anthony Rapp accused him of trying to seduce him in 1986 when Rapp was 14.