Sex assault case against Kevin Spacey dropped

Access to the comments Comments
By David K. Li and Janelle Griffith  with NBC News U.S. News
Image: Actor Kevin Spacey arrives to face a sexual assault charge at Nantuc
Actor Kevin Spacey arrives to face a sexual assault charge in Nantucket, Massachusetts, on Jan. 7, 2019. Charges against him in Nantucket were dropped Wednesday, July 17, 2019.   -   Copyright  Brian Snyder Reuters file

A Massachusetts prosecutor on Wednesday asked for charges to be dropped against actor Kevin Spacey, who had been accused of groping a young man at a Nantucket bar three years ago.

Cape & Islands District Attorney Michael O'Keefe cited "unavailability of the complaining witness" in filing for dismissal in Nantucket District Court.

The case against Spacey appeared to suffer a fatal blow last week when Spacey's accuser invoked his Fifth Amendment rights after being questioned about his role in the deleting of text messages from a phone key to the case.

Spacey's defence had demanded to examine the accuser's cell phone that he had in the early morning hours of July 8, 2016, when the alleged incident happened at the Club Car restaurant and bar in Nantucket.

On the witness stand, the accuser said he had not altered or deleted any potential evidence off that iPhone he had in 2016. But when defence lawyer Alan Jackson reminded him it is a felony to alter evidence, the court took a break and then the young man told Barrett — through a public defender assigned on the spot — he'd invoke his right against self-incrimination on the phone issue.

"This entire case is completely compromised. He is the sole witness," defence lawyer Alan Jackson told the judge last week. "This case needs to be dismissed, and I believe it needs to be dismissed today."

Nantucket District Court Judge Thomas Barrett seemed to agree, but put the matter off so prosecutors could discuss their next move. He ordered both sides back to court on July 31.