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Thread: Spacey Sex Assault Case Dropped

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 1999
    Hyannis, MA, USA

    Default Spacey Sex Assault Case Dropped

    [IMc - This case was a mess from jump. Spacey has a long history of louche behavior that may have instances of coercive abuse of at least personality power. But the young man, obviously star struck, was tweeting his girl friend on how cool it was. Could that have anything to do with how energetically the DA did not even inform the defense of the cell phone's existence, much less get it to them? They young man, underage for drinking, was being served to intoxication at a bar where he was employed as a buss boy. One must wonder why the DA has not even hinted at prosecutions for that. And finally, one wonders at the family dynamics that led to this prosecution and the previously withdrawn civil suit. To my eye, our DA was blinded by the glamor of the participants and the thought of a deep notch on his gun . . . Yeah. talk about louche.]

    Prosecutors Drop Groping Case Against Kevin Spacey

    The district attorney's office said in court documents that they were dropping the charge "due to an unavailability of the complaining witness"

    By Staff and Wire Reports

    Published 5 hours ago | Updated 4 hours ago

    Prosecutors dropped a case Wednesday accusing actor Kevin Spacey of groping a young man at a Nantucket bar in 2016, more than a week after the accuser refused to testify about a missing cellphone the defense says contains information that supports the actor's claims of innocence.

    Spacey was charged with indecent assault and battery last year in the only criminal case that has been brought against the actor since his career collapsed amid a slew of sexual misconduct allegations. The two-time Oscar winner was among the earliest and biggest names to be ensnared in the #MeToo movement against sexual assault and harassment that swept across the entertainment and other industries.
    Spacey denies groping the man, whose mother first went public with the allegations in 2017.

    A phone message seeking comment was left with Spacey's lawyer.

    The actor's accuser was ordered to take the stand earlier this month after he said he lost the cellphone he used the night of the alleged groping. The defense said it needed the phone to recover deleted text messages it says would help Spacey's case.

    The man denied deleting messages or manipulating screenshots of conversations he provided to investigators. But when he was pressed by the defense about whether he knew that altering evidence is a crime, he invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, and the judge said his testimony would be stricken from the record.

    The judge then questioned how prosecutors would be able to bring Spacey to trial if the accuser continued to refuse to testify, and prosecutors told the judge they needed time to decide how to proceed.

    On Wednesday, Cape and Island District Attorney Michael O'Keefe said in court documents that they were dropping the charge "due to an unavailability of the complaining witness."

    O'Keefe explained in a press release that his office met with Spacey's accuser after the July 8 hearing and informed him that if he chose to continue to invoke his Fifth Amendment right, the case would not be able to go forward.

    "After a further period of reflection privately with his lawyer, the complaining witness elected not to waive his right under the Fifth Amendment," the district attorney's statement said.

    Mitchell Garabedian, the accuser's lawyer, said in a statement Wednesday: "My client and his family have shown an enormous amount of courage under difficult circumstances." He offered no further comment.

    The hearing at which the accuser testified came days after the man abruptly dropped a lawsuit he had just recently filed against the actor that sought damages for "severe and permanent mental distress and emotional injuries." The suit was dismissed "with prejudice," meaning it cannot be refiled.

    The man did not receive a settlement to drop the civil case, his mother said. Garabedian said he dropped it because he was emotionally overwhelmed and wanted only "one roller coaster ride at a time" and so chose to focus on the criminal case.

    The man's mother, former Boston TV anchor Heather Unruh, alleged in 2017 that Spacey got her son drunk and sexually assaulted him at the Club Car, a bar on Nantucket where the teen worked as a busboy.

    The man told police he went over to talk to Spacey after his shift because he wanted to get a picture with the former "House of Cards" star. He said Spacey bought him several drinks and tried to persuade him to come home with him before unzipping the man's pants and groping him for about three minutes.

    Unruh's son told police he tried to move Spacey's hands, but the groping continued, and he didn't know what to do because he didn't want to get in trouble for drinking because he was underage. The man said he fled when Spacey went to the bathroom.

    Shortly after Spacey was charged, he posted a video on YouTube in the voice of his "House of Cards" character who was killed off after the sexual misconduct allegations emerged, saying "I'm certainly not going to pay the price for the thing I didn't do."
    Spacey has faced several other accusations.

    His first accuser, actor Anthony Rapp, said Spacey climbed on top of him on a bed when Rapp was 14 and Spacey 26. Spacey said he did not remember such an encounter but apologized if the allegations were true.

    NBC and the Associated Press do not typically name people who say they are the victims of sexual assault unless they identify themselves publicly. Rapp has; Unruh's son has not.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    victoria, australia. (1 address now)

    Default Re: Spacey Sex Assault Case Dropped

    "To my eye, our DA was blinded by the glamor of the participants and the thought of a deep notch on his gun . . . Yeah. talk about louche."

    And is this DA elected or a political appointment? And does he have further political ambitions?
    Another rat to join the others in the ranks.

    Of course if he did doit he gets away, and if he didn't mud sticks.
    He maybe can sue the complainant and get nothing because there is nothing to get. I bet he cannot sue the DA.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 1999
    Hyannis, MA, USA

    Default Re: Spacey Sex Assault Case Dropped

    Our DA's are elected. Usually on law and order macho. But there is a movement of progressive DAs who are part of ending our disgraceful over-incarceration, especially of black men. Up in Boston, the new Suffolk County DA Rollins is one. There are others. NYT of "Charged" below

    How Tough-on-Crime Prosecutors Contribute to Mass Incarceration

    By David Lat
    April 8, 2019

    Charged: The New Movement to Transform American Prosecution and End Mass Incarceration
    By Emily Bazelon

    If you aspired to high office in the 20th and early 21st centuries, this was sound advice: Get thee to a prosecutor’s office. Politicians from both parties, from Democrats like John Kerry to Republicans like Rudolph Giuliani, parlayed prosecutorial perches into political power and nationwide fame.

    The basic recipe for using a prosecutor’s post as a springboard into politics required being “tough on crime,” protecting the public by putting criminals behind bars. The vast majority of state and local prosecutors in the United States are elected, and taking a punitive tack was generally considered to be the path to re-election — and, frequently, election to higher office. Prosecutors had strong incentives to be harsh rather than lenient (or merciful) when dealing with defendants, and those incentives helped shape the criminal justice system as we know it today. In the words of the law professor and historian Jed Shugerman, a scholar of prosecutors turned politicians: “The emergence of the prosecutor’s office as a steppingstone for higher office” has had “dramatic consequences in American criminal law and mass incarceration.”

    These consequences are on full display in “Charged: The New Movement to Transform American Prosecution and End Mass Incarceration,” by Emily Bazelon, a lecturer at Yale Law School and staff writer at The New York Times Magazine. In “Charged,” a persuasive indictment of prosecutorial excess, Bazelon argues that the lawyers who work in the more than 2,000 prosecutors’ offices around the country — conducting investigations, filing criminal charges and trying cases (or, much more commonly, striking plea bargains) — bear much of the responsibility for over-incarceration, conviction of the innocent and other serious problems of the criminal justice system.

    “We often think of prosecutors and defense lawyers as points of a triangle on the same plane, with the judge poised above them: equal contest, level playing field, neutral arbiter,” Bazelon writes. But this is a misconception. As the Brooklyn district attorney, Eric Gonzalez, puts it to her: “It’s all about discretion. Do you authorize the arrest, request bail, argue to keep them in jail or let them out, go all out on the charges or take a plea bargain? Prosecutors decide, especially, who gets a second chance.”

    To show how prosecutorial power operates in the real world, Bazelon follows two young defendants through the system: Kevin (a pseudonym), a 20-year-old from the Brownsville neighborhood of Brooklyn who is charged with illegal gun possession, and Noura Jackson, a teenager from Memphis who is accused of murdering her mother.

    Their cases are very different — one involving a victimless crime, the other the most heinous crime of all — and so are the district attorneys. Kevin’s prosecutor is Gonzalez, an aspiring reformer and the first Latino to serve as Brooklyn’s district attorney, while Noura’s is Amy Weirich, a hard-charging attorney in the traditional law-and-order mold. Bazelon uses these contrasting cases to demonstrate that having the right (or wrong) prosecutor can make a huge difference — between justice tempered with mercy and grave injustice.

    Bazelon tells the tales of Noura and Kevin in rich, novelistic prose, which at its best puts one in mind of Adrian Nicole LeBlanc’s book “Random Family” (2003), about a troubled family from the Bronx in the grip of the criminal justice system. Consider the opening to Noura’s story, the most gripping section of “Charged”: “The blood was everywhere. Spattered on the floor of the hallway, on the doorframe of the bedroom and on the bedposts. Soaked into the sheets and pillows, and covering the body splayed on the floor at the foot of the bed. Jennifer Jackson was naked. Her face was covered by a wastepaper basket. Her chest and torso and hands were slashed, the pale skin torn by the blade of a knife. She’d been stabbed a total of 50 times.”

    Bazelon interweaves Kevin’s and Noura’s stories with a remarkable amount of academic research by law professors, criminologists and other social scientists. The endnotes, replete with charts and graphs, run to more than 50 pages and acknowledge intellectual debts to such thinkers as Angela J. Davis, Paul Butler, Michelle Alexander and William Stuntz. This combination of powerful reporting with painstaking research yields a comprehensive examination of the modern American criminal justice system that appeals to both the head and the heart.

    The study of criminal justice is the study of power, and as a veteran legal journalist, Bazelon has long been concerned with this theme. Her last book, “Sticks and Stones,” explored the culture of bullying and painted a nuanced portrait, rejecting a simple dichotomy between blameworthy bullies and innocent victims. “Charged” is considerably less balanced — in, say, its discussion of plea-bargaining, which Bazelon (convincingly) asserts is used to excess without sufficiently acknowledging its necessary role in the system, or of pro-prosecutor rulings by the Supreme Court, which she analyzes almost entirely from a public-policy perspective with little focus on their legal reasoning. This could cause readers who do not share Bazelon’s politics to dismiss her core argument. But to the extent that it’s a polemic, “Charged” reflects its author’s passion for her subject. “As a journalist,” she writes, “I’ve never felt a greater sense of urgency about exposing the roots of a problem and shining a light on the people working to solve it.”

    Bazelon doesn’t go easy on prosecutors, but at the same time she believes that American prosecution can heal itself. Discussing a group of young, diverse, reform-minded prosecutors whom she calls “the New D.A.s,” she argues that “prosecutors also hold the key to change. They can protect against convicting the innocent. They can guard against racial bias. They can curtail mass incarceration.” In a lengthy appendix, she offers “21 Principles for 21st-Century Prosecutors,” a road map for those interested in reducing incarceration and increasing fairness in the justice system.

    Which of Bazelon’s two visions for the future of American prosecution will carry the day: a continuation of the deplorable status quo or a revolution in fairness led by “the New D.A.s”? Recent developments offer reason to be hopeful. As was true of the factors that led us to the current sad state of affairs, it’s all about incentives.

    The movement to reform the criminal justice system enjoys support from across the political spectrum, from Black Lives Matter activists trying to protect minority communities to libertarians like the Koch brothers troubled by government overspending. In December, Donald Trump, who campaigned for the presidency on a law-and-order platform, signed the First Step Act, a bipartisan package of sentencing and prison-condition reforms.

    This broader criminal justice reform reflects, and also contributes to, changing views of prosecutors. No longer simply the women and men who wear the “white hats,” prosecutors today are seen — and properly so — as major players in the criminal justice system who can do great harm as well as good.

    As a result, in some cases, a prosecutor’s record is no longer a political asset but a liability, or at least a mixed blessing. Take Kamala Harris, whose stints as San Francisco’s district attorney and California’s attorney general fueled her rise to the United States Senate. She now finds her quest for the Democratic presidential nomination complicated by decisions she made in her past positions: She has come under attack largely for having been too aggressive as a prosecutor, a historical novelty in American politics.

    If prosecutorial service is no longer a golden ticket to a successful political career, then being a prosecutor could lose some of its luster to young lawyers seeking power and prestige. Perhaps that’s a good thing. In these often overlooked but incredibly important posts, we need people committed to advancing the interests of justice, not just their own ambitions.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    New Zealand's Far North

    Default Re: Spacey Sex Assault Case Dropped

    I always thought that if Spacey was ever called to the witness box nobody would ever believe him given the roles he has played.
    Money may not buy happiness, but it can buy a boat that will pull right up next to it!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    victoria, australia. (1 address now)

    Default Re: Spacey Sex Assault Case Dropped

    Thank you Ian….
    I read that a couple of times.

    I might order 'Charged' but maybe 'Sticks and Stones" would be a better perspective?.

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