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The sex offense charges against Kevin Spacey have been dropped after the actor’s accuser invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. The accuser invoked his rights after it became clear that he destroyed evidence to make it sound like he’d been groped by Spacey in a Nantucket bar.
The outcome of the case deals a sharp blow to the #MeToo movement – it shows the movement towards holding powerful men accountable can easily be abused by people who want to use it for their own gain.
We detailed the legal battle over the accuser’s cell phone earlier in our blog. In short, an 18-year-old busboy at a Nantucket bar claimed that Kevin Spacey groped him in July 2016. Text messages from the accuser to his friends formed key pieces of evidence against Spacey. Spacey’s lawyers, however, noticed that there were gaps in the texts and wanted to see all of the texts that were sent that night. The accuser, however, suddenly claimed that the phone had gone missing.
Most recently, the accuser was warned that he could face a felony offense of tampering with evidence if it was found that he had destroyed the cellphone or edited the text messages. So the accuser invoked his Fifth Amendment rights and refused to cooperate any further.
Without the accuser and with the text message evidence tainted, the prosecutor recognized that the case against Spacey had become exceptionally weak. The only way the case could move forward would have been to get the accuser to testify by offering him immunity from the evidence tampering charge. But that would have drastically undermined his credibility – and credibility in sex offense allegations is crucial.
Instead, the prosecutor dropped the charges against Spacey.
Some media outlets were quick to point out that the court victory for Spacey doesn’t exactly vindicate him. He has been accused of sexual assault and harassment by dozens of other people over the span of decades.
What the dropped charges do show is the dark side of the #MeToo movement and how easily it can be used as a vehicle for someone’s ulterior motives. The public has grown to hate the idea of a powerful man abusing his position by sexually harassing whoever he wants and then daring them to do something about it.
Years ago, people who accused these men of sexual harassment were seen as urchins – they were using the man’s public profile to essentially blackmail him into giving the accuser money so they would go away and be quiet. Now, though, these accusers are automatically adorned with an aura of bravery for standing up to fame and money and demanding accountability.
As soon as Kevin Spacey’s accuser pled the Fifth to avoid a felony charge for tampering with evidence, it reminded everyone that some accusers are not interested in holding a powerful man accountable. In fact, some accusers may lie about what actually happened and are seeking to exploit the system for their own personal gain. In fact, in many cases, the #MeToo movement has served to victimize men who’ve been wrongfully accused since as a society, we’ve now been programmed to automatically accept a “victim’s” accusation as reliable and trustworthy. The Spacey case proved that nothing could be further from the truth…
Call the criminal defense lawyers at Maine Criminal Defense Group at (207) 571-8146 if you have been accused of a sex crime in Portland, Saco, or Biddeford, or anywhere else in Southern Maine, or contact us online.
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