Judge Denies Kevin Spacey's Request to Skip Court Hearing in Felony Groping Case

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Kevin Spacey will be required to appear at his upcoming court arraignment on the felony sexual assault charge he faces over an alleged 2016 incident at a Nantucket bar.

According to court documents reviewed by the Boston Globe, the 59-year-old actor formally asked district Judge Thomas Barrett to waive his court appearance requirement, a request that Barrett denied on Monday. Barrett did approve Spacey’s request to be represented by an out-of-state attorney, Alan Jackson.

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Spacey’s reasoning for skipping his court date was, according to an affidavit, “that this court excuse my physical presence at the arraignment as I reside out-of-state and believe that my presence will amplify the negative publicity already generated in connection with this case.”

Spacey’s attorney’s accompanying motion promoted the same weak argument that “The Defendant’s attendance at the arraignment will only serve to heighten prejudicial media interest in the case and will increase the risk of contamination of the pool of jurors available for the trial.” The judge did not buy this.

Additionally, Spacey wrote that he wished to “enter a plea of not guilty.”

On December 24, Spacey was charged with felony indecent assault and battery for allegedly groping a then 18-year-old in July, 2016. Last week, Massachusetts state police said that there is video footage of the alleged attack. The alleged victim’s girlfriend told police that he texted her to say that Spacey was hitting on him. Then he sent her a Snapchat video “showing Spacey touching the front of [his] pants by the crotch.”

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Spacey will be arraigned at Nantucket district court on January 7.

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Hannah Gold

contributing writer, nights