Morning Chronicle - Spacey due in UK court again to face sexual assault charges

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Spacey due in UK court again to face sexual assault charges
Spacey due in UK court again to face sexual assault charges / Photo: CARLOS JASSO - AFP/File

Spacey due in UK court again to face sexual assault charges

Hollywood actor Kevin Spacey was on Thursday due to make his latest British courtroom appearance after he was charged last month with sexually assaulting three men and granted unconditional bail.

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The 62-year-old star, who last faced a UK court over the four counts of sexual assault on June 16, was expected at London's Central Criminal Court -- known as the Old Bailey -- from 0845 GMT for a scheduled hearing.

His case is listed for "plea and trial preparation" after being transferred to the crown court, which deals with the most serious crimes, from a lower magistrates' court last month.

No formal pleas were entered at the previous 28-minute hearing, but Spacey's lawyer Patrick Gibbs told the court his client "strenuously denies any and all criminality in this case".

"He needs to answer these charges if he is to proceed with his life," Gibbs added then.

The Crown Prosecution Service, which is responsible for bringing prosecutions in England and Wales, said in May that it had authorised charges against Spacey.

A two-time Oscar winner for "The Usual Suspects" and "American Beauty", he was formally charged by police in the British capital the following month and voluntarily appeared in court within days.

The deputy chief magistrate initially hearing the case heard that he lives in the United States, where he has family and a nine-year-old dog.

The magistrate formally withdrew an arrest warrant that had been issued two weeks prior after learning Spacey had travelled to London to appear in person.

Reporting restrictions in place prevent the media going into detail about the charges to avoid prejudicing a jury at any trial.

- 'Prove my innocence' -

The first two charges of sexual assault date from March 2005 in London and concern the same man, who is now in his 40s.

The third is alleged to have happened in London in August 2008 against a man who is now in his 30s.

Spacey has also been charged "with causing a person to engage in penetrative sexual activity without consent" against the same man.

The fourth sexual assault charge is alleged to have occurred in Gloucestershire, western England, in April 2013 against a third man, who is now in his 30s.

None of the alleged victims can be identified under English law.

After the prosecutors' May announcement, Spacey said he was "disappointed" with the decision.

"I will voluntarily appear in the UK as soon as can be arranged and defend myself against these charges, which I am confident will prove my innocence," he said in a statement at the time.

Spacey was artistic director of The Old Vic theatre in London between 2004 and 2015.

Allegations against him emerged in the wake of the #MeToo movement that saw numerous claims of sexual assault and harassment in the movie industry.

That prompted an investigation by London's Metropolitan Police and a review by The Old Vic of his time in charge there.

Claims against Spacey in 2017 led to the end of his involvement in the filming of the final season of the political drama "House of Cards".

He was also dropped from a Gore Vidal biopic on Netflix and as the industrialist John Paul Getty in "All the Money in the World".