Kevin Spacey has been ordered by Nantucket District Court Judge Thomas Barrett to appear in court for his arraignment on a felony charge of sexual assault in which the actor is accused of groping an 18-year-old man at a Massachusetts bar in 2016, reports said Monday.
The actor’s attorneys filed a motion on Friday requesting permission to excuse his attendance at the hearing scheduled for Jan. 7 in Nantucket District Court, the Boston Globe reported. The state requires defendants to appear for court arraignments unless waived by a judge.
The motion filed by Spacey’s lawyers was not immediately available to media outlets.
Prosecutors opposed the motion, calling on the judge to deny it, according to court documents obtained by the paper.
“At no time was there any agreement between the defendant and [prosecutors] with respect to the issue of the defendant’s appearance for arraignment,” Cape and Islands Assistant District Attorney Michael K. Giardino wrote in the document dated Thursday. “Furthermore, during a telephone call on December 27, 2018 with [Spacey’s] attorney [Juliane] Balliro, she was specifically informed that [prosecutors] would not agree to the waiver.”
Spacey, 59, faces one count of indecent assault and battery in the alleged July 2016 assault at a Nantucket restaurant, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Police and court documents obtained by multiple outlets Wednesday outlined the encounter between Spacey and the 18-year-old accuser, who is the son of former WCVB-TV news anchor Heather Unruh.
The state police report obtained by Mass Live allegedly includes a video showing the “House of Cards” actor groping the front of the victim’s pants. The victim told police he sent a video to his girlfriend over Snapchat to prove that his version of events occurred. The girlfriend confirmed to police the existence of the clip, the report said.
Spacey’s lawyers have argued that the Snapchat video footage does not show a crime and believe that there is not sufficient evidence to move forward with charges because the accuser did not report the incident to police for over a year.
The 18-year-old, a busboy at the restaurant, reported the assault to Nantucket Police on Oct. 31, 2016, with the investigation moving forward Nov. 22, 2017, after the victim spoke with Massachusetts State Police.
Last week, Spacey released a bizarre "House of Cards"-inspired video after it was announced he was facing felony charges for the 2016 incident.
The charges carry penalties of up to five years in prison and the requirement to register as a sex offender, according to court documents obtained by the Globe.