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Kevin Spacey case heads back to court as defense casts wide net for cell phone records and other evidence

NANTUCKET, MA - JANUARY 07: Actor Kevin Spacey attends his arraignment for sexual assault charges at Nantucket District Court on January 7, 2019 in Nantucket, Massachusetts. (Photo by Nicole Harnishfeger-Pool/Getty Images)

Kevin Spacey’s sex abuse case returns to a Massachusetts court Monday, as his defense team works to obtain cell phone records and other evidence from the actor’s accuser.

A judge previously ruled that Spacey, who has pleaded not guilty to battery and indecent assault, does not have to attend the pretrial hearing, but he must be reachable by phone.

Charges against the 59-year-old stem from a July 2016 night at The Club Car, a restaurant and bar on the island of Nantucket, during which a busboy alleges Spacey bought him drinks and groped him.

The busboy, 18 at the time of the alleged assault, came forward to report Spacey more than a year later, telling police he did not want Spacey to victimize others, according to a criminal complaint. CNN does not identify alleged victims of sexual assault.

Defense: Electronic evidence key

Last week, Spacey’s defense team expanded its request for the accuser’s phone records, saying they were interested in data from any cell phone he used between July 7, 2016, and December 1, 2017.

Attorneys are hoping to retrieve “text messages, photographs, Snapchats, telephone calls and/or messages exchanged” concerning the case or between the plaintiff and Spacey. The defense also wants information from his cloud-based accounts.

According to the complaint, the busboy filmed part of the alleged groping on Snapchat and sent the video to his girlfriend. The busboy’s girlfriend told police the video showed “a hand touching the front of (the busboy’s) pants,” but defense attorneys have said the Snapchat video contains no evidence of assault.

The defense also seeks documents and surveillance video from The Club Car. Though the then-owner of the restaurant disposed of the requested records, Spacey’s attorneys are asking for the identity of the former owner’s accountant to determine if the accountant has any pertinent documents.

The former “House of Cards” actor’s team also wants to obtain correspondence between civil attorney Mitchell Garabedian, who has represented numerous victims of clergy sex abuse, and the busboy, the busboy’s family and police.

“Evidence that (the victim) and his family members intend to pursue civil remedies against (Spacey) supports the defense’s position that the complaining witness in this case has a substantial financial motivation to falsify his claims,” the defense motion states.

Flirting defense

Previously, defense lawyers have said the busboy was flirting with Spacey that evening. They’ve called the young man’s claims “patently false” and accused him of telling Spacey he was 23 at the time.

“By (his) own account, he did not object to the alleged touching, he did not ask (Spacey) to stop, and he did not in any way remove himself from the situation,” attorneys Alan Jackson and Juliane Balliro wrote in a January filing. “At best, this describes two people engaged in mutual and consensual flirtation, nothing more.”

According to the complaint, the busboy got off work around midnight, changed clothes and began talking to Spacey. Spacey bought the teen drinks and boasted about the size of his penis before trying to convince the teen to come home with him, the busboy told police, according to the complaint.

About an hour after they met, Spacey rubbed the young man’s penis for 3 minutes, unzipping his pants at one point, the busboy told police. When Spacey left for the bathroom, the busboy exited the bar and went home, the complaint says.

The criminal complaint, filed in December, identifies several witnesses who say they saw Spacey and the busboy together at The Club Car, but the defense contends none of the witnesses claims to have seen an assault.

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