Just days after the man accusing Kevin Spacey of groping him a Nantucket bar in 2016 suddenly dropped his civil lawsuit against the Oscar winner, the criminal case now looks to be close to collapse due to a missing phone.
“The case revolves around this individual and without him the commonwealth will have a tough row to hoe,” Judge Thomas S. Barrett told prosecutors Monday after striking the accuser’s entire testimony from the record after he invoked the Fifth Amendment.
A sometimes freewheeling pretrial hearing today on the Massachusetts vacation island saw the accuser take the stance against self-incrimination after the ex-House of Cards star’s lead defense attorney warned him that erasing evidence is a chargeable felony in the commonwealth. Spacey himself was not there, but the man and his parents — including his mother, former Boston TV anchor Heather Unruh — were on the stand Monday testifying about material they admit was deleted from the then-18-year-old’s iPhone three years ago before being handed over to local police. That news was first revealed early last month.
What took things in the direction that the innocence asserting Spacey has long sought was the fact that no one seems to know where the phone in question is since the police returned it to the family in December 2017.
Seen live on local TV, Spacey’s lawyer Alan Jackson told Barrett that the whole matter should be shut down now. “This entire case is completely compromised,” the LA-based attorney proclaimed on what was the deadline for the phone to be handed over again. “This case needs to be dismissed, and it needs to be dismissed today.”
After listening to Jackson and an apparently stunned prosecutor Brian Glenny, the judge set a new July 31 hearing on the issue. Jackson told local media after Monday’s hearing he intends to file dismissal paperwork in the next few days.
In the only criminal case against the much-accused actor, Spacey is fighting claims that he liquored up and groped the accuser at local bar the Club Car on July 7, 2016. The accuser at the time worked at the Nantucket establishment as a busboy.
Seeking to solidify his claims, the accuser has insisted he texted friends about what Spacey allegedly did to him that night. Yet, kind of hard to make that case when your Mom took all “frat boy activities” off your phone and the phone is AWOL.