Judge denies Kevin Spacey's request to skip court appearance

Legal News Headlines

Former "House of Cards" star Kevin Spacey must appear in a Massachusetts court on accusations that he groped a young man in 2016, a judge ruled on Monday.

The 59-year-old Oscar-winning actor had argued he should be excused from attending his Jan. 7 arraignment at the Nantucket District Court because his presence would "amplify the negative publicity already generated in connection with this case." But Judge Thomas Barrett denied Spacey's request.

Spacey has said he will plead not guilty to felony indecent assault and battery. The allegations were first brought in November 2017, when former Boston TV anchor Heather Unruh told reporters that Spacey groped her teenage son during a chance encounter in the crowded bar of a Nantucket restaurant.

An attorney for Spacey, Juliane Balliro, had argued that Spacey's presence at his arraignment would only "heighten prejudicial media interest in the case" and increase the risk of contaminating the jury pool.

Emails seeking comment on the judge's ruling were sent to Spacey's attorneys and the district attorney's office handling the case.

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