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Kevin Spacey declared not guilty: Is he facing more sexual misconduct trials?

The former House of Cards star appeared in court in London this year ahead of another trial for sexual assault set to begin in 2023.

Kevin Spacey declared not guilty: Is he facing more sexual misconduct trials?
JANE ROSENBERGREUTERS

On Thursday a federal court in Manhattan found that Kevin Spacey is not liable for battery, concluding a civil case brought by actor Anthony Rapp. The claimant alleged that Spacey made a sexual advance on him in 1986, when Rapp was just 14 years old.

The allegations against Spacey first came to light when Rapp went public in 2017, in the midst of the birth of the #MeToo movement that outed serious sexual predators in Hollywood and other public spheres.

It took the jury little more than an hour to rule in favour of Spacey, whose legal team accused Rapp of fabricating the incident along the lines of a Broadway show that he had starred in.

But while the case brought by Rapp appears to have been resolved, his allegations were far from the only ones surrounding Spacey and the 63-year-old is set to stand trial again next year.

Spacey will stand trial in London

In June the actor appeared in court in London after being charged by the United Kingdom’s Crown Prosecution Service with four counts of sexual assault. The charges relate to three separate accusers and relate to Spacey’s time as the artistic director of London’s Old Vic Theatre between 2005 and 2013.

After first being charged in May 2022, Spacey travelled to London to make his first appearance in a British court on 16 June. One month later, he appeared in court again to plead not guilty to all four charges.

He was granted unconditional bail and is set to go to trial in the UK in June 2023. Speaking to Good Morning America, Spacey said: “I am confident I will prove my innocence.”

Massachusetts sexual assault charge dropped

A separate case in Massachusetts ended abruptly in 2019 when a man who accused Spacey of sexual assault in a restaurant in Nantucket withdrew his charge. Prosecutors had been handling the case of an 18-year-old who claimed that Spacey had touched him inappropriately three years earlier.

The charge was dropped after a series of issues with the prosecution’s case, which included the accuser invoking the Fifth Amendment in court, and dropping a separate lawsuit less than a week after initially filing it.

At the time, Cape and Islands district attorney Michael O’Keefe explained that his office was dropping the prosecution “due to the unavailability of the complaining witness.”

However the sheet number of claims made against Spacey remains significant. The New York Times reports that more than a dozen men have come forward with allegations of sexual misconduct. However few have even seen charges or a civil case brought against Spacey, often due to the historic nature of the incidents in question and a lack of evidence.

Rapp’s claims were the first to receive significant media attention but the following avalanche of accusations engulfed Spacey and his career, and lost him the part of sinister politician Frank Underwood in ‘House of Cards’.