Kevin Spacey arrived Monday morning at Nantucket court, where he pleaded not guilty to charges that he sexually assaulted an 18-year-old man.
Spacey, 59, appeared in Nantucket District Court Monday morning in a gray tweed suit, polka dot tie and purple paisley shirt, his hands clasped in front as he stood next to his lawyer.
The Oscar winner said nothing in court and entered his not guilty plea in paperwork ahead of the brief hearing. He is charged with one count of indecent assault and battery for allegedly shoving his hand down an 18-year-old busboy’s pants at a Nantucket bar in July 2016.
Judge Thomas Barrett ordered the ousted “House of Cards” actor to stay away from the victim. Prosecutors did not request any restrictions on his travels.
More than 30 other men have accused him of sexual misconduct. The next hearing in the case is March 4 but Spacey is not required to appear.
Ahead of Spacey’s scheduled arraignment, Nantucket District Judge Thomas Barrett heard two dozen other criminal cases on charges including child porn, child rape and drug possession.
“It’d be an understatement to say there’s a case today that has garnered a significant amount of media attention,” Barrett warned the reporters and spectators who packed the courtroom as he took the bench. “No one should interrupt the proceedings. Sit, listen and observe — but don’t interrupt.”
The Oscar winner is accused of plying the teen with booze after meeting him at Club Car bar on Nantucket in July 2016.
The criminal charges were filed after the alleged victim’s mother, former local news anchor Heather Unruh, publicly accused Spacey of grabbing her son’s genitals.
“Kevin Spacey bought him drink after drink after drink and when my son was drunk, Spacey made his move and sexually assaulted him,” Unruh said during a 2017 press conference.
The journalist’s son worked as a busboy at the restaurant and bar. He told police that Spacey urged him, “Let’s get drunk,” and the teen sent his girlfriend video of the incident, according to court documents.
Spacey — who is charged under the name Kevin S. Fowler — tried to skip his court appearance, saying in papers that he believed his “presence will amplify the negative publicity already generated in connection with this case.” Barrett denied the request.
But the actor may have gotten special treatment by court officials, who afforded him a “show-cause hearing” on Dec. 20, the Boston Globe reported. Such hearings are held behind closed doors and used only in misdemeanor cases to determine whether there’s enough evidence to bring criminal charges. But Spacey was facing a felony charge, which carries as much as five years in prison.
During the secret hearings, clerk-magistrates, many of whom do not have law degrees, are authorized to dismiss potential criminal cases — keeping court records out of public view, according to the Globe.