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Kevin Spacey in court; ordered to stay away from accuser

Kevin Spacey in court; ordered to stay away from accuser

REUTERS/Brian Snyder Actor Kevin Spacey arrives at district court on Monday, Jan. 7, 2019, in Nantucket, Mass., to be arraigned on a charge of indecent assault and battery.

Standing in court, Spacey offered no response as the charge against was read aloud.

The Oscar winner's legal team asked for - and were granted - an order to preserve the victim's cell phone data for six months following the alleged assault.

Spacey, sporting a white and purple floral printed shirt and purple tie under a taupe coat, smiled but did not respond to reporters as he entered the court. The judge set another hearing for March 4. Spacey will not be required to appear at that pre-trial hearing, as long as he is available by phone, the judge ruled. Spacey attorney Alan Jackson said there is data that is "likely exculpatory".

The alleged victim is the son of former Boston news anchor Heather Unruh, who has spoken publicly about the incident - one in a string of sexual assault accusations against the former House of Cards star.

He is accused of sexually assaulting an 18-year-old male after plying him with alcohol at a bar in Nantucket in 2016.

The accuser's attorney, Mitchell Garabedian, issued a statement Monday saying his client hopes to serve as an example to other victims.

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Because of intense public interest in the case, a crowd packed into the small courtroom to see Spacey. His lawyer is claiming these records are proof that Spacey did not assault the victim in a Nantucket bar.

The Associated Press does not typically identify people alleging sexual assault.

If convicted, Spacey, 59, faces as many as five years in prison.

He had tried to avoid appearing in person at the hearing, on the beach resort island of Nantucket off the MA coast, saying in court papers he believes his "presence will amplify the negative publicity already generated in connection with this case".

Mr Spacey said he had no memory of the event, but publicly apologised before issuing an "absolute" denial of all other allegations.

Later that day, the actor released video in which he appeared as his House of Cards character Frank Underwood.

After several minutes, Spacey got up to go to the bathroom and the 18-year-old left the bar and went home, the complaint states. Prosecutors declined to file charges over a 1992 allegation because the statute of limitations had expired.

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