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Kevin Spacey ordered to stay away from sexual assault accuser ahead of next court date in March

The House of Cards star had asked that his lawyers represent him at the hearing but Judge Thomas Barrett declined.

Image: Matt Crossick via PA Images

Updated Jan 7th 2019, 4:31 PM

ACTOR KEVIN SPACEY must stay away from the young man who accused him of groping him at a Massachusetts bar in 2016, a judge has ordered.

The disgraced star was arraigned on a charge of felony indecent assault and battery during a hearing at Nantucket District Court. He did not enter a plea.

The judge set another hearing for 4 March, when the judge ruled that Spacey does not have to appear, but must be available by phone.

The judge granted a request by Spacey’s lawyers to preserve the victim’s mobile phone data for six months after the alleged assault.

Spacey’s lawyer Alan Jackson said there is data that is “likely exculpatory” for Spacey.

The 59 year-old and his lawyers declined to comment as they left the courthouse amid a crush of reporters.

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.

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. He has said he intends to plead not guilty.

‘Encouraging voice’

The civil lawyer for the actor’s 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 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.

It’s the first criminal case brought against Spacey, 59, since other allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced against him in 2017.

A judge denied Spacey’s bid to avoid appearing in person today.

He had argued his presence would “amplify the negative publicity already generated” by the case.

‘Pay the price’

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.

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 the encounter, but apologised if the allegations were true.

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Associated Press

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