Kevin Spacey: prosecutors drop case accusing actor of groping teen

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According to court documents obtained by PEOPLE, the former House of Cards actor, 59, will not be prosecuted after he was accused of groping a young man at a Nantucket bar in 2016.

Spacey had pleaded not guilty to charges of indecent assault and battery filed in January. The two-time Oscar victor was among the earliest and biggest names to be ensnared in the #MeToo movement against sexual assault and harassment that swept across the entertainment and other industries. The accusation came amid a flurry of other sexual misconduct allegations and claims that Spacey had made unwanted sexual advances toward young male actors over the years.

Spacey's lawyers had previously accused the man of deleting text messages that would support his defense.

The accuser was working as a busboy at the Club Car at the time of the alleged assault. Once the accuser invoked the Fifth Amendment, Spacey's Attorney Alan Jackson called for the case to be dismissed immediately if the accuser was indeed attempting not to incriminate himself.

The prosecution had relied on screenshots that were turned over to investigators. The man invoked his Fifth Amendment rights during a hearing earlier this month concerning the whereabouts of his mobile phone, which was missing.

Cape & Islands District Attorney Michael O'Keefe dropped the charges on Wednesday "due to the unavailability of the complaining witness". The man "elected not to waive his right under the Fifth Amendment", prosecutors said.

And "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".

CNBC reports the alleged victim is now "unavailable as a witness".

The man's attorney, Mitchell Garabedian, said in an emailed statement, "My client and his family have shown an enormous amount of courage under hard circumstances". Garabedian said he had no further comment. The suit was dismissed "with prejudice," meaning it can not be refiled. Thus the case was dropped.

The filing of charges past year marked one of the relatively rare criminal prosecutions of the #MeToo era, which has seen mostly women reveal wide-spread patterns of sexual harassment and abuse in entertainment, business and politics.

In police reports obtained by PEOPLE, Unruh's son told authorities that he was "texting and snapchatting" when Spacey reached down his trousers and repeatedly touched his genitals over the course of three minutes while they were together at the Nantucket bar, where the accuser worked as a busboy.

Unruh's son told police he tried to move Spacey's hands, but the groping continued, and he didn't know what to do because he didn't want to get in trouble for drinking because he was underage. The man said he fled when Spacey went to the bathroom.

One of Hollywood's most famous and recognizable actors, Spacey's career collapsed in November 2017 following several allegations of sexual assault and harassment.

Spacey's accuser sued on June 26, but dropped the lawsuit a week later ahead of a July 8 hearing in Nantucket District Court regarding his phone, which his lawyer said he could not find after being ordered to turn it over to Spacey's attorneys. Spacey apologized for his inappropriate conduct with Rapp. The Globe doesn't identify alleged sexual assault victims without their permission.