Disgraced Oscar-winner Kevin Spacey appeared before a judge in Massachusetts on Monday to face charges that he abused a then 18-year-old boy in 2016. At the arraignment, Nantucket District Court Judge Thomas Barrett ordered Spacey to stay away from his accuser and his family.
“By reporting the sexual assault, my client is a determined and encouraging voice for those victims not yet ready to report being sexually assaulted,” the accuser's lawyer, Mitchell Garabedian, said in a statement on Monday before the hearing. “My client is leading by example.”
Spacey faces felony indecent assault and battery charges. During the hearing, which took 10 minutes, Spacey reportedly showed no emotion.
His defense lawyer Alan Jackson entered a not-guilty plea on Spacey’s behalf. He also secured the cell phone data of the accuser, which he said will harbor helpful social media messages and texts that will boost Spacey’s case.
“This is data that we believe is, not only potentially exculpatory, but likely exculpatory for Mr. Spacey,” Jackson told the court, per NBC. “I simply don’t want to see any of that data deleted, destroyed — even inadvertently.”
In court documents, Jackson claims the accuser is unreliable and created “an entirely false persona” during their alleged 2016 meeting.
“In fact, aside from his name, everything (the victim) told Mr. Fowler was a lie. In point of fact, (the victim) was 18 years old, not in college and had taken a summer job bussing tables on the island.”
The next pre-trial hearing is set for March 4th. The judge ruled that Spacey does not have to appear in person, but needs to be available. Spacey was mobbed by reporters when he entered and left the court.
This is the first formal charge Spacey has faced, though 30+ men have come forward to share allegations of sexual misconduct.
If convicted on all charges, Spacey faces five years behind bars.