Massachusetts prosecutors have dropped sexual assault case charges against actor Kevin Spacey on Wednesday, after the alleged victim’s refusal to testify.
Spacey had been accused of groping an 18-year old busboy at the Club Car restaurant in July 2016. According to AFP, William Little had accused the 59-year old Oscar winner of groping him in a bar on Nantucket Islands in Massachusetts.
Indecent assault and battery charges were dropped after the accuser refused to testify about a missing phone, which the defense said could prove the actor’s innocence. Several sexual harassment accusations have been made against Kevin Spacey but only this one resulted in a criminal case.
Earlier, last month the accuser was asked to take the stand after he said he had lost the cellphone he used on the night of alleged groping. Spacey’s lawyers said that they needed the phone to recover deleted text messages as it would help the actor’s case.
The man denied deleting messages or manipulating screenshots of conversations he gave to the investigating authorities. On being pressed by the defense about knowing that altering evidence was a crime, he invoked his Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination and refused to testify, reported AP.
Spacey’s lawyer, Alan Jackson, alleged that the accuser and his mother had manupilated the messages.
After the judges questioned prosecutors how they would bring Spacey to trial if the accuser refused to testify, they asked to be given some time to proceed.
Cape and Island District Attorney Michael O’Keefe said in court documents that they were dropping the charge “due to unavailability of the complaining witness”, reported AP.
After charges of sexual harassment came in from across quarters of the Hollywood, Kevin Spacey was dropped from popular show House of Cards and Ridley Scott’s All The Money in the World.
( With inputs from agencies)