Kevin Spacey was in court Monday to answer accusations that he groped a young man in a bar on the resort island of Nantucket in 2016.
NANTUCKET, Mass. (AP) - A judge ruled Monday that Kevin Spacey must stay away from the young man he's accused of groping in a Massachusetts bar in 2016.
The disgraced actor was arraigned on a charge of felony indecent assault and battery during a hearing at Nantucket District Court on Monday.
He did not enter a plea. The judge set another hearing for March 4. Spacey does not have to appear.
Spacey has said he intends to plead not guilty. His lawyer has also questioned the evidence against him.
It's the first criminal case brought against the 59-year-old after a string of sexual misconduct allegations crippled his career in 2017.
The hearing comes more than a year after a former Boston TV anchor accused the former "House of Cards" star of sexually assaulting her son, then 18, in the crowded bar at the Club Car, where the teen worked as a busboy.
Spacey's lawyer, Alan Jackson, has sought to poke holes in the case, noting that the teenager didn't immediately report the allegations. If convicted, Spacey faces up to five years in prison.
The civil attorney for the accuser said in a statement ahead of the hearing that his client is "leading by example."
"By reporting the sexual assault, my client is a determined and encouraging voice for those victims not yet ready to report being sexually assaulted," said lawyer Mitchell Garabedian, who has represented hundreds of clergy sexual abuse victims.
Garabedian is not a part of the criminal case against Spacey.
Media trucks lined the street before dawn, and locals on the island, which teems with tourists in the summer but quiets down in the winter, drove by slowly to take photos of reporters standing in line in the cold.
When the doors opened, more than two dozen journalists packed the courtroom hours before Spacey was scheduled to appear in late morning.
A judge denied Spacey's bid to avoid appearing in person Monday at Nantucket District Court. Spacey had argued his presence would "amplify the negative publicity already generated" by the case.
Television anchor Heather Unruh told reporters in November 2017 that Spacey got her son drunk and then grabbed his genitals during the incident. She said her son fled the restaurant when Spacey went to the bathroom.
The Associated Press does not typically identify people alleging sexual assault.
After the charge was announced last month, Spacey released a video in the voice of Frank Underwood, his character on Netflix's "House of Cards," in which he said, "I'm certainly not going to pay the price for the thing I didn't do." It was unclear whether he was referring to the charge.
Spacey has also faced other allegations.
His first accuser, actor Anthony Rapp, said Spacey climbed on top of him on a bed when Rapp was 14 and Spacey 26. Spacey said he did not remember such an encounter but apologized if the allegations were true.
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