Kevin Spacey appeared in a Nantucket, Massachusetts, courtroom on Monday for his arraignment on sexual assault charges. The felony charge of indecent assault and battery stems from a 2016 incident in which the actor allegedly stuck his hand down an 18-year-old man’s pants, grabbing his genitals, after buying him drinks at a restaurant on the island.
Spacey pleaded not guilty during the appearance, which took place two weeks after Cape and Islands Assistant District Attorney Michael K. Giardino announced the felony charges. The former House of Cards star appeared in Nantucket District Court with his two attorneys, Alan Jackson and Juliane Balliro. He entered and sat quietly, standing with his hands folded when prompted by his legal team.
Prosecutors asked that Spacey “stay away” and have “no contact with the victim and his family” — a request that Judge Thomas Barrett approved. The scene in Nantucket was widely described as a media spectacle, with numerous reporters and media trucks filling the small island’s historic downtown.
The actor’s pre-trial hearing is scheduled for March 4th. Spacey does not have to appear in court, per his attorney’s request, though he must be available by phone. Despite numerous allegations of sexual misconduct against the 59-year-old dating back to 2017, the Nantucket case is the first to produce criminal charges.
In November 2017, Boston news anchor Heather Unruh accused Spacey of assaulting her son. “The victim, my son, was a starstruck, straight 18-year-old man,” she told reporters. “When my son was drunk, Spacey made his move and sexually assaulted him. I want to make it clear: This was a criminal act … I want to see Kevin Spacey go to jail. I want to see Kevin Spacey have the hand of justice come down on him, not just for my son, but for the many others who have yet to speak their truth.”
Spacey has continued to deny the dozens of misconduct allegations that have mounted since late 2017. In December 2018, he seemingly refuted the claims in a cryptic video in which he appeared as his former House of Cards character, Frank Underwood.
“You wouldn’t believe the worst without evidence, would you?” he says in the clip, titled “Let Me Be Frank.” “You wouldn’t rush to judgments without facts, would you? Did you? … I can promise you this: If I didn’t pay the price for the things we both knew I did do, I’m certainly not going to pay the price for the things I didn’t do. Despite all the poppycock, the animosity, the headlines, the impeachment without a trial. … Despite even my own death, I feel surprisingly good and my confidence grows each day that soon enough you will know the full truth.”