Accuser chooses to remain silent on the witness stand
A pre-trial hearing in the case against actor Kevin Spacey took an unforeseen turn on Monday when the accuser invoked his Fifth Amendment privilege to remain silent on the witness stand.
Heather Unruh accused Spacey, a former TV anchorwoman, for assaulting her son William Little in 2016.
She claimed the actor plied her then-18-year-old son with alcohol before molesting him at a Nantucket resort bar.
Criminal charges where formally filed in December 2018.
In January, Spacey pleaded not guilty, and also publicly denied groping the teen.
Little filed a civil suit against Spacey last month where he claimed the alleged incident left him with “severe and permanent mental distress and emotional injuries.”
A week later, he dropped the lawsuit.
There has been no comment from him or his layer on the dismissal.
The family rejected the notion that a secret settlement was made to drop the lawsuit.
Nantucket District Court Judge Thomas Barrett gave the family until today to turn over a mobile phone which is said to have text message evidence of the alleged assault.
The family hasn’t produced the phone or explain its disappearance after police inspected it.
It was claimed by the family that the t police and the prosecution never returned the phone to them, but police claim they returned it after approximately 20 days in custody.
Kevin Spacey pleads not guilty to sexually assaulting 18-year-old in a Massachusetts bar pic.twitter.com/fwARgCcs8l
— The Independent (@Independent) January 7, 2019
According to The Washington Examiner: Mitch Garabedian, attorney for the accuser, said today that his client had gone through several phones since the time of the alleged assault and did not believe that messages from the night in question had transferred to each new device.
Alan Jackson, Spacey’s attorney, called the misplaced cellphone and bungled chain of custody a “disaster.”
Spacey’s defense team wants to examine the phone, which they believe will have evidence that proves their client’s innocence, including video and texts.
Spacey’s lawyers also believe that Unruh and her family tampered with the texts in question, deleting several messages that would show accusations to be false.
Jackson has repeatedly stated his belief that Unruh and her son filed the charges hoping to receive a financial windfall from a high-profile celebrity.
In 20 minutes of questioning over the cellphone in a Nantucket courtroom Monday, the accuser said he has tried to recover specific texts from the night of the alleged incident but has been unable to do so.
The defense pressed particularly hard on questions of whether the accuser had deleted messages and photos relating to the incident.
Unable to give satisfactory answers, he pleaded the Fifth Amendment, which strikes his testimony from court records.
The accuser’s father took the stand next to and was also unable to give any definite answers about the missing phone or text messages, but the line of questioning left him sharply defensive and visibly annoyed.
Judge Barrett warned him several times that he was close to being in contempt of court.
Unruh herself eventually took the stand, though there was some question about whether her testimony had been tainted.
She was meant to be sequestered during her son’s testimony, but the court was alerted that she had been watching on TV, which would compromise any statement she would give later.
She claimed she didn’t hear most of her son’s testimony and was allowed to take the stand.
She vigorously denied destroying the phone or deleting messages that would relate to the incident in question, but did admit to deleting messages from her son she deemed to be “rough” and sounding like they were from a “frat boy,” including some racist epithets and images of him using drugs.
The next hearing in the case is scheduled for July 31 in Nantucket, when the defense is expected to move for dismissal.