A Nantucket judge on Monday approved a request from Kevin Spacey’s lawyers to preserve additional phone records in the indecent assault and battery case against the disgraced actor.
The development came in Nantucket District Court, where Spacey is charged with groping a teenager at a local bar in July 2017. He has pleaded not guilty to a charge of indecent assault and battery. The alleged victim, 18 at the time of the incident, is the son of former WCVB-TV news anchor Heather Unruh.
On Monday, Judge Thomas S. Barrett allowed a motion from Spacey’s lawyers to extend an earlier order preserving phone and electronic records for the alleged victim and his former girlfriend.
Barrett presided over a pre-trial hearing in the case Monday. Spacey wasn’t required to attend, and he didn’t show.
In January, Barrett ordered that the phone data be preserved from July 7, 2016 to Jan. 7, 2017. On Monday, he extended the order to Dec. 31, 2017, records show.
Attorneys for Spacey, 59, asked in their original motion for the “immediate preservation of any and all cell phones used by” the alleged victim and his former girlfriend during the relevant period, as well as any cloud-based accounts associated with their phones during the pertinent time period. The data, the lawyers wrote, contains “exculpatory information.”
According to police reports, the alleged victim was in contact with his then-girlfriend via Snapchat, text messages, and phone calls during the incident with Spacey. The actor’s lawyers, however, said the woman told investigators the alleged victim did not say he was being sexually assaulted.
The next hearing in the case is scheduled for April 4, when Barrett will address motions filed last week by Spacey’s legal team, prosecutors said.
Those motions include a request for an order that a civil lawyer hired by the accuser’s family turn over a variety of records, arguing that Spacey’s “status as a public figure” suggests the accuser “and his family members have a significant financial motive to fabricate” their claims.
Mitchell Garabedian, the civil attorney representing the accuser’s family, declined to comment Monday. The alleged victim has not filed a civil suit against the movie star.
The explosive accusation first emerged in November 2017 during an emotional press conference, when Unruh publicly accused Spacey of sexually assaulting her son.
“The victim, my son, was a star-struck, straight, 18-year-old young man who had no idea that the famous actor was an alleged sexual predator or that he was about to become his next victim,” Unruh said during the news conference.
Spacey’s Hollywood career has imploded since the fall of 2017, after a number of men came forward to accuse the Oscar winner of sexual misconduct.
Last Christmas Eve, he surfaced in a bizarre YouTube video in which he appeared to assume the character and likeness of Frank Underwood, the ruthless politician in the popular Netflix series “House of Cards.”
Spacey was cut from the show’s final season amid the wave of accusations.