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Kevin Spacey sexual assault case dropped by prosecutors

The disgraced 'House of Cards' star was accused of sexually assaulting an 18-year-old man in a Massachusetts bar in 2016.

2019-07-18

US prosecutors have dropped a sexual misconduct case against Kevin Spacey.

The disgraced House of Cards actor, 59, was accused of groping an 18-year-old man in a Massachusetts bar in 2016.

The allegations were first made in 2017, as a series of public accusations of sexual misconduct were made against Spacey in the wake of the #MeToo movement.

The 18-year-old man's allegations were the only ones being pursued by US criminal prosecutors.

However, charges of indecent assault and battery were dropped on Wednesday (17 July) after the accuser refused to testify, invoking his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

The man had been ordered to take the stand over a phone he claims he lost on the night of the alleged assault. Spacey's defence lawyers had argued they needed the phone to try to recover text messages they claim were deleted and could prove Spacey's innocence.

In a statement, the Cape and Islands District Attorney's Office said the "unavailability of the complaining witness" had made "further prosecution untenable".

While the criminal case was the only one being faced by Spacey in the US, in the UK Metropolitan Police are continuing to investigate allegations of sexual assault between 1996-2003, and travelled to the US to question the actor in May, the BBC reports.

Spacey, who was axed from the final series of Netflix's House of Cards in 2017 in the wake of the scandal, faced heavy criticism for using his initial denial statement to come out publicly as gay, in an attempt to deflect from the allegations.