Kevin Spacey appeared Monday in a Massachusetts court, where attorneys entered a not-guilty plea on behalf of the 59-year-old actor, who was arraigned on a felony charge of indecent assault and battery.
Barrett set the next pretrial hearing for March 4 at 11 a.m. and agreed that Spacey would not have to appear in court but would need to be available by phone. The judge also agreed to a motion by Spacey’s attorneys to preserve cellphone and cloud data from the victim for six months after the alleged assault, but noted that this requirement could be modified throughout the course of the case.
The case marks the first criminal charge for Spacey, who has faced sexual misconduct allegations in the past year after a BuzzFeed interview with actor Anthony Rapp, who accused the actor of making sexual advances on him when Spacey was 26 and he was 14.
After Rapp’s interview with BuzzFeed, Spacey said he did not remember the alleged encounter but said, “If I did behave then as he describes, I owe him the sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior, and I am sorry for the feelings he describes having carried with him all these years.”
The alleged victim in the Nantucket case came forward about a week later, when his mother — a former Boston news anchor — gave an emotional news conference alleging that the actor provided her then-18-year-old son with alcohol and grabbed the young man’s genitals after he became drunk.
“By reporting the sexual assault, my client is a determined and encouraging voice for those victims not yet ready to report being sexually assaulted. My client is leading by example,” the victim’s attorney, Mitchell Garabedian, said in a statement ahead of Monday’s hearing.
Spacey and his attorneys pushed their way through a large crowd of photographers on the way in and out of the Nantucket District Court on Monday. The actor did not respond to questions.
The courtroom also hosted a throng of onlookers. “No one should interfere or interrupt these proceedings,” the judge advised as the hearing got underway. “If you do, you risk being held in contempt.