California Observer

Kevin Spacey: Court throws out battery charges

Kevin Spacey i

Image Source: NBC News

On Thursday, Kevin Spacey triumphed as a New York jury declared him not guilty of abuse. For allegedly picking up actor Anthony Rapp and momentarily lying on top of him in a bed after a party in 1986.

After an hour of deliberation, the jury decided that Rapp had failed to establish that Spacey had “touched a sexual portion” of him.

The case wasformally dismissed by Judge Lewis Kaplan. However, when the verdict was announced, the lawyers sitting on either side of Space patted his back.

Rapp, best known for his part in “Star Trek: Discovery,” claimed that in 1986, when Rapp was 14 years old, Spacey, then 26 years old, invited him to his Manhattan home where he laid him down on his bed, grabbed his buttocks, and pressed his groin into Rapp’s body without Rapp’s permission.

Before the trial began, the judge rejected Rapp’s assault claim. Later, after Rapp’s counsel had rested their evidence, the judge rejected his claim of deliberate infliction of mental distress, leaving the jury to decide solely on the battery claim. A reasonable person would consider offensive touching of another person without their agreement to be a battery under New York law.

Joey Jackson, a legal analyst for CNN, regarded Thursday’s ruling as a massive victory for Spacey, proving that a jury could ignore the cacophony of a celebrity claimed reported wrongdoings in the Me Too movement and assess a case based on the evidence put forth in court.

More cases for Kevin Spacey ahead

The case also presented challenges on the legal front because the jury was only allowed to hear the battery claim. Since the court dismissed the assault and intentional infliction of emotional distress counts.

Spacey’s victory was a “Pyrrhic victory” considering additional allegations that hang over him in the UK.

With this lawsuit and the one previously dismissed in Nantucket, Spacey has defeated two sex abuse allegations against him. After that, however, he must fight off additional accusers and more serious criminal charges in the UK.

Spacey was charged with four counts of sexual assault by Britain’s Crown Prosecuting Service in May. In addition, to the allegations, Spacey has entered a not-guilty plea.

In the Nantucket case, a man claimed that while working as a busboy at a restaurant at 18, Spacey sexually harassed him. When asked about his missing cell phone and if he deleted text messages while testifying. The accuser of Spacey invoked the Fifth Amendment, leading the prosecution to withdraw the criminal case against Spacey eventually.

Closing arguments made by lawyers

Rapp’s attorney Richard Steigman said that Spacey had changed his testimony at trial to suit his defense. Especially considering Spacey’s 2017 apology to Rapp when he first came out.

In contrast to the unedited testimony provided by his client, Steigman dubbed Spacey’s testimony as being rehearsed.

Steigman rejected the defense’s counterargument that Rapp meant to expose Spacey as gay.

Keller, Spacey’s attorney, claimed that when Rapp came forward, he “hitched his wagon” to the ME Too movement.

Read Also: Kevin Spacey arraigned in court on Thursday 

Keller asserted that Rapp stole the details of the purported incident from a nearly identical scene from the Broadway production of “Precious Sons.” Which Rapp was starring in with Ed Harris in 1986, the year of the alleged occurrence.

In her closing statements, Spacey’s counsel pleaded with the jury not to err by finding Spacey guilty of violence. While only giving Rapp one dollar in damages.

Opinions expressed by California Observer contributors are their own.

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Opinions expressed by California Observer contributors are their own.