Actor Kevin Spacey goes on trial in London this week on sex offence charges

actor-kevin-spacey-goes-on-trial-in-london-this-week-on-sex-offence-charges
Actor Kevin Spacey goes on trial in London this week on sex offence charges

Kevin Spacey, the Oscar-winning actor, appeared in a London court on Wednesday to begin his four-week trial on twelve charges of sex offences. The allegations against Spacey, who is 63 years old, involve historic offences against four men that are said to have occurred between 2001 and 2013. The charges include multiple incidents of indecent and sexual assaults, as well as a more serious offence of causing a person to engage in penetrative sexual activity without consent, which carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

Spacey, dressed in a navy suit with a pink tie, attentively observed the proceedings from the dock in Court 1 of London’s Southwark Crown Court as the jury was sworn in. Judge Mark Wall cautioned the jurors to base their decision solely on the evidence presented in court and not to be influenced by external factors. He acknowledged that the defendant may be pleased that many of the jurors were familiar with his name and films but emphasized the importance of impartiality. Judge Wall also acknowledged the significant media attention surrounding the case and urged the jurors to avoid exposure to such coverage whenever possible.

The trial was adjourned until Friday morning when the prosecution will formally present its case against Spacey. The actor, known for his roles in “American Beauty” (1999) and “The Usual Suspects” (1995), both of which earned him Oscars, spent over a decade working in London as the artistic director for the Old Vic theatre from 2004 to 2015. British prosecutors initially announced the charges against him in May 2022, alleging five assaults between March 2005 and April 2013, four of which occurred in London and one in Gloucestershire. The victims involved include one man in his 40s and two men in their 30s. In November, the Crown Prosecution Service authorized an additional seven charges related to sex assaults on one man between 2001 and 2004.

Kevin Spacey, once a prominent figure in Hollywood, has largely withdrawn from public view since facing allegations of sexual misconduct six years ago. In October of last year, he successfully defended himself against a sexual abuse case brought against him in a civil court in the United States. The jury in Manhattan concluded that the actor’s accuser failed to prove his claim that Spacey had made an unwanted sexual advance when he was 14 years old.

Reporting by Michael Holden; editing by Mark Heinrich, Christina Fincher, William Maclean

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