What to Know
- "House of Cards" actor Kevin Spacey was arraigned at Nantucket District Court for a charge of indecent assault and battery.
- Last year, former WCVB-TV news anchor Heather Unruh publicly accused Spacey of groping her son at a Nantucket restaurant in July of 2016.
- Unruh told NBC News that she and her son would not be attending the arraignment.
Wading through a crowd of journalists to walk into the courthouse, Kevin Spacey faced a judge in a Nantucket courtroom Monday morning after being accused of sexually assaulting the son of a former Boston news anchor.
A not guilty plea was entered on behalf of the 59-year-old actor, who appeared at Nantucket District Court on a felony charge of indecent assault and battery. Spacey was released after his attorney and the lead prosecutor had a brief back-and-forth over preserving data from the phone of the alleged victim and someone else. The judge also set another hearing for March 4, for which Spacey is not required to appear.
Neither Spacey nor his attorneys commented as they left the courthouse.
The former "House of Cards" actor was ordered to stay away from the young man accusing him of groping him at the Club Car Restaurant in July of 2016. The allegations surfaced in November 2017 after former WCVB-TV anchor Heather Unruh accused Spacey of groping her then-18-year-old son at the Nantucket restaurant where he worked as a bus boy that summer.
Unruh accused the "House of Cards" actor of assaulting her son at the Club Car Restaurant. According to state police documents, Unruh's son claims he was groped by Spacey after he allegedly bought the teen several drinks at the restaurant. When Unruh's son was drunk, Spacey allegedly stuck his hand inside the teenager’s pants and grabbed his genitals, according to documents.
"I want to make it clear - this was a criminal act," Unruh said when she first publicly accused Spacey in November of 2017. "It harmed him, and it cannot be undone."
Spacey’s accuser may have filmed the alleged assault, according to state documents. The alleged victim’s girlfriend did not believe him when he said the actor was making advances at him. Unruh's son then sent her a Snapchat video that showed Spacey’s hand near the teen’s crotch, according to the documents.
Unruh told NBC News that she and her son would not be attending the arraignment.
"We have decided as a family that we will not make any statements until trial," Unruh told NBC News. "We want to preserve the integrity of the case."
"By reporting the sexual assault, my client is a determined and encouraging voice for those victims not yet ready to report being sexually assaulted," Mitchell Garabedian, attorney for the accuser, said in a statement. "My client is leading by example."
NBC isn't naming the accuser because it does not identify the victims of alleged sexual assault.
Spacey's arraignment comes after his attorney tried to have him excused from the proceedings, a motion that was denied by a Massachusetts judge. The Boston Globe reports the actor's attorneys had a chance to fight the indecent assault and battery charge during a secret hearing on Dec. 20.
In-depth news coverage of the Greater Boston Area.
The groping accusation is one of several sexual misconduct allegations made against Spacey in the last year. He was fired from the final season of his Netflix show "House of Cards" and replaced in a movie, "All the Money in the World," in the wake of the allegations.
His representative has said he was seeking treatment. On Christmas Eve, Spacey released a video in which he appeared to address allegations against him as his "House of Cards" character, Frank Underwood: "Despite even my own death, I feel surprisingly good and my confidence grows each day that soon enough you will know the full truth."
Sex assault resources are available at the National Sexual Violence Resources Center and the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 800-656-4673. Since it was first created in 1994, the National Sexual Assault Hotline has helped more than two million people, according to its website.