A case against Kevin Spacey, accusing the actor of sexual assault, has just gotten more complicated. Spacey already faces the criminal charge of indecent assault over what allegedly took place between him and the accuser, who was 18 years old and working as a busboy in a Nantucket bar in July 2016 when the two met. Following these accusations, Spacey’s high profile role of Anthony Rapp on Netflix’s political drama, House of Cards was written off the show. The final season of House of Cards aired earlier this year on Netflix, Robin Wright assuming her position at the helm of the critically acclaimed series. Spacey has pleaded not guilty to the alleged crime, which has been reexplained in the form of a new civil suit.
The incident was detailed by a civil complaint that was filed on Wednesday in Superior Court. In this complaint, the accuser described how Spacey allegedly bought him “multiple alcoholic beverages” before forcibly touching and fondling him. These allegations are consistent with those made in the criminal case, and likewise accuse Spacey of alleged explicit sexual behavior in addition to the alleged infliction of mental distress.
The civil suit is only the most recent event in what has already been a month full of twists for the ongoing criminal case. Just last week, the plaintiff, their mother, and the attorney reported that they were unable to locate the cellphone used on the night of the alleged sexual assault. Spacey’s lawyers had hoped that evidence on the device might exonerate the actor, however later claimed that such evidence was deleted from the phone before being turned over to the prosecution. These claims resulted in a Nantucket judge ordering them to turn over the phone so that defense experts could examine the device themselves.
The defense team maintains that evidence has been deleted. While the alleged assault took place, the accuser communicated with his girlfriend via text messages and a short video. Last month, prosecutors reported to Judge Thomas Barrett that they had managed to obtain a copy of this communication from the phone, but that the device was returned thereafter. These findings were compiled onto a CD and offered to defense lawyers, who later said that the CD was not sufficient.
Defense expert Sankara Shanmugam explained their logic in an affidavit. “Access to the underlying databases is necessary to perform a proper analysis, including whether messages may have been deleted or to attempt recovery of deleted data,” she wrote.
Spacey’s lawyers also have argued that a report filed by police officers in addition to screen shots verify their claims of deleted evidence. They would like an opportunity to recover such evidence themselves, according to defense attorney Alan Jackson.
“He and or his mother deleted the exculpatory texts that were on the phone. They deleted information that they didn’t want the police to have, they deleted information they didn’t want us to have,” said Jackson in a hearing last month.
The prosecution has till July 8 to turn over the phone. If they fail to do so by this point, then the accuser must appear in court alongside his mother and attorney to testify about the device’s location.