NANTUCKET, Mass (CelebrityAccess) — Prosecutors in Massachusetts have dropped sexual assault charges against actor Kevin Spacey after the alleged victim invoked the fifth amendment while providing testimony about a missing cellphone.
“The complaining witness was informed 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,” Cape and Islands District Attorney Michael O’Keefe said in a statement released on Wednesday.
The cellphone played a key role in the prosecution of Spacey, who was alleged to have sexually assaulted Kevin Fowler, a waiter who was 18 at the time.
In 2017, Fowler approached the Cape and Islands District Attorney’s office to allege that he had met Spacey at the Club Car bar and restaurant in Nantucket where he worked as a busboy. Fowler alleged that Spacey provided him with alcohol and then sexually assaulted him.
Fowler claimed that he was communicating electronically with his girlfriend and other friends at the time, and recorded a video of Spacey groping him.
However, almost immediately, Holes began to appear in Fowler’s version of the event. Almost immediately, Fowler admitted that he had lied to Spacey about his age, stating that he was a 23-year-old college student.
The timing of the alleged assault was also a point of confusion, with the alleged assault occurring 15 months prior to Fowler’s reporting it instead of 3 months which the prosecutor’s office had claimed. According to ABC News, investigators attributed the discrepancy in dates to a typo.
Then, during pretrial hearings, it was revealed that Fowler’s mother had deleted potentially exculpatory material from Fowler’s cell phone before surrendering it to police, a fact that investigators did not file a report on until June 2019.
Further complicating the case, the phone itself appears to have disappeared, with police claiming to have returned the phone to the alleged victim’s family, which the family denies receiving. The incident led the lead investigator to admit that he had failed to obtain a receipt for the return of the phone.
During a hearing this month, Fowler was asked during testimony if he was aware that it is a crime to delete potentially exculpatory in a criminal probe, leading him to invoke his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination — and declined further testimony.