Prosecutors Drop Kevin Spacey's Criminal Sexual Assault Case Due to Accuser's 'Unavailability'
The House of Cards actor will not be prosecuted after he was accused of groping a young man at a Nantucket bar in 2016
Kevin Spacey‘s sexual assault criminal case has been dropped, PEOPLE confirms.
According to court documents obtained by PEOPLE, the former House of Cards actor, 59, will not be prosecuted after he was accused of groping a young man at a Nantucket bar in 2016.
“Now comes the Commonwealth, by and through its District Attorney, Michael O’Keefe, and hereby files a Nolle Prosequi in the above matter due to the unavailability of the complaining witness,” Nantucket District Attorney Michael O’Keefe filed in a document on Wednesday.
“Nolle Prosequi” is “Latin for ‘we shall no longer prosecute,’ ” according to Cornell Law, and “is an entry made on the record by a prosecutor in a criminal case or a plaintiff in a civil case stating that he will no longer pursue the matter.”
The sexual assault accusation was first brought forward in November 2017 by former Boston TV news anchor Heather Unruh when she publicly accused the actor of assaulting her then 18-year-old son at a bar in July 2016. The accusation came amid a flurry of other sexual misconduct allegations and claims that Spacey had made unwanted sexual advances toward young male actors over the years.
Following the dismissal on Wednesday, the attorney for the alleged victim said, “My client and his family have shown an enormous amount of courage under difficult circumstances,” according to NBC10 Boston’s Eli Rosenberg.
In police reports obtained by PEOPLE, Unruh’s son told authorities that he was “texting and snapchatting” when Spacey reached down his pants and repeatedly touched his genitals over the course of three minutes while they were together at the Nantucket bar, where the accuser worked as a busboy.
He also told investigators that he approached Spacey that night, wanting a photo, and proceeded to drink heavily with the actor — after lying about his age by saying he was a 23-year-old college student — before the alleged assault took place, according to the police reports.
The accuser said Spacey’s alleged touching went on for about three minutes and that he tried to move away, to no avail, according to the reports. He said that he fled when Spacey went to the bathroom.
News about the charge against Spacey broke the same day that the actor released a video — portraying his deceased House of Cards character, Frank Underwood — in which he alluded to the multiple sexual assault allegations against him, and maintained his innocence.
“Of course, some believed everything and have just been waiting with bated breath to hear me confess it all,” Spacey said in the video shared to his social channels. “They’re just dying to have me declare that everything said is true and that I got what I deserved. Wouldn’t that be easy if it was all so simple? Only you and I both know it’s never that simple, not in politics and not in life.”
He said, “I can promise you this: If I didn’t pay the price for the things we both know I did do, I’m certainly not going to pay the price for the things I didn’t do.”
Earlier this month, the accuser spoke out publicly for the first time at a hearing in Nantucket District Court.
Following the 40-minute testimony — during which he denied altering text messages and other information from the night of the alleged incident, and said he never received the phone back from law enforcement officials, to whom the device was turned over — the accuser, now 20, invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.
That, according to Judge Thomas Barrett, means the testimony previously given by the man — now a college senior — would be stricken.
Spacey’s attorney, Alan Jackson, asked the judge to dismiss the case immediately, saying because the accuser would not testify — coupled with the missing phone — proceeding would be a waste of time and money for all involved.
Barrett said that while the criminal charges against Spacey for indecent assault and battery “may well be dismissed,” they were “not going to be dismissed today.” Spacey has pleaded not guilty to the charges.