Criminal charges dropped against actor Kevin Spacey

Prosecutors in Massachusetts on Wednesday dropped the criminal charges against Academy Award-winning actor Kevin Spacey. The actor had been facing a felony charge of indecent assault and battery in Nantucket. 

Nantucket District Court Clerk’s office District Attorney Michael O’Keefe said in a court filing “the unavailability of the complaining witness” as their reason for dropping the lawsuit.  

The dismissal of the lawsuit concludes a whirlwind saga involving Spacey and the accuser. The original criminal complaint stemmed from a young man accusing Kevin Spacey of groping him at a bar in 2016 when he was 18-years-old. The accuser said Spacey allegedly bought him several alcoholic drinks, then groped him.

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The actor had pleaded not guilty to a charge of indecent assault and battery.

The strength of the case against the actor was called into question when the man invoked his Fifth Amendment rights during a July 8 court hearing. It wasn’t immediately clear what the accuser’s intentions were in invoking the Fifth Amendment, but much of the defense’s strategy against the prosecution concerned the accuser’s missing cellphone. 

The July 8 hearing had to be called because the accuser said he couldn’t find a cellphone wanted by the defense. Spacey’s lawyers say they needed the phone to try to recover texts they claim were deleted and would help Spacey’s defense. 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 prosecution asked for a week to determine next steps.

The accuser voluntarily dismissed the lawsuit against Spacey last week without explanation just days after it was filed. His lawyer, Mitchell Garabedian, said in court that the case has been an “emotional roller coaster” for his client.