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Kevin Spacey Walks After Groping Case Falls Apart

The accuser's refusal to testify played a big role
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 17, 2019 4:30 PM CDT
In this Jan. 7, 2019 file photo, actor Kevin Spacey arrives at district court in Nantucket, Mass.   (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

(Newser) – The groping case against Kevin Spacey is over. Prosecutors dropped a sexual assault charge against the actor Wednesday after signs emerged that the prosecution's case was crumbling, CBS Boston reports. Spacey, 59, was accused of groping an 18-year-old bus boy in a Massachusetts restaurant in 2016, but texts apparently sent by the accuser during the assault went missing and the phone vanished altogether. The defense says those texts were deleted—the accuser's mother, former Boston news anchor Heather Unruh, claims she removed texts about his "frat boy activities"—and last month a prosecuting attorney said no one could find the phone, per the New York Times. Unruh says they handed the phone to prosecutors and never saw it again.

In a hearing last week about the missing phone, the accuser invoked his Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination; a prosecutor now says the case was dropped "due to the unavailability of the complaining witness." The accuser also dropped a lawsuit against Spacey earlier this month, apparently because he was riding an "emotional rollercoaster." The groping case was one of several misconduct accusations against Spacey but the only one that went to court. It's also a rare #MeToo-era case that led to criminal prosecution. The allegations sidelined Spacey's acting career and inspired him to post a somewhat bizarre video denial as his House of Cards character Frank Underwood. (Read more Kevin Spacey stories.)

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