Charges dropped in Kevin Spacey alleged sexual assault case

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Alan Davidson/Silverhub/REX/Shutterstock (7528231au) Laurence Olivier Theatre Awards 2015 at the Royal Opera House Exclusive Coverage Inside Auditorium - Kevin Spacey (recipient of the Special Award) Olivier Theatre Awards 2015 - Auditorium - 12 Apr 2015

The sexual assault charges against American actor Kevin Spacey have been dropped after the accuser invoked his Fifth Amendment right and subsequently refused to testify about deleted cellphone messages sent from a bar on the night of the encounter.

The Oscar-winning actor was charged last December with a felony for allegedly sexually assaulting journalist Heather Unruh’s 18-year-old son in Nantucket, Massachusetts two years earlier. 

It was alleged that Spacey “unzipped the man’s pants and fondled him.” His lawyers, in turn, denied the allegations and described the encounter as “mutual and consensual flirtation.”

According to the Boston Globe, on Wednesday the Cape and Islands District Attorney Michael O’Keefe’s office submitted a one-sentence court filing revealing that prosecutors were dropping the case “due to the unavailability of the complaining witness”. 

Prosecutors released a statement saying that the complaining witness was informed that if he chose to continue to invoke his Fifth Amendment right, the case would not be able to go forward,”. 

“After a further period of reflection privately with his lawyer, the complaining witness elected not to waive his right under the Fifth Amendment. A grant of immunity compromises the witness to a degree which, in a case where the credibility of the witness is paramount, makes the further prosecution untenable,” the statement concluded. 

Spacey has yet to publicly comment on the charges being dropped against him.