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Accuser Won’t Testify, Spacey Groping Case Dropped

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Massachusetts prosecutors dropped a case accusing Kevin Spacey of groping a young man at a Nantucket bar in 2016 after the accuser refused to testify about a missing cellphone the defense says contains information supporting the actor’s claims of innocence, the Associated Press reports. Spacey was charged with indecent assault and battery in the only criminal case that has been brought against the actor since his career collapsed amid a slew of sexual misconduct allegations. The two-time Oscar winner was among the biggest names to be ensnared in the #MeToo movement against sexual assault and harassment. He denied groping the man, whose mother went public with the allegations in 2017.

The accuser was ordered to take the stand this month after he said he lost the cellphone he used the night of the alleged groping. The defense said it needed the phone to recover deleted text messages it says would help Spacey’s case. The man denied deleting messages. When the defense pressed him about whether he knew that altering evidence is a crime, he invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. On Wednesday, Cape and Island District Attorney Michael O’Keefe dropped the charge “due to an unavailability of the complaining witness.” Prosecutors said they met with the man and his lawyer and told him that if he wouldn’t testify in further proceedings, they couldn’t move forward with the case. The man “elected not to waive his right under the Fifth Amendment,” prosecutors said. The accuser had abruptly dropped a lawsuit against Spacey that sought damages for “severe and permanent mental distress and emotional injuries.” The man’s mother, former Boston TV anchor Heather Unruh, alleged that Spacey got her son drunk and sexually assaulted him at the Club Car bar on Nantucket, where the teen worked as a busboy.

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