London — Kevin Spacey pleaded not guilty before a London court on Thursday to four charges of sexual assault against three men, stemming from incidents that allegedly took place between 2005 and 2013. He also pleaded not guilty to one count of “causing a person to engage in penetrative sexual activity without consent.”

The Hollywood actor, 62, stands accused of assaulting the three men, who are now in their 30s and 40s, in London and Gloucestershire, England.

Spacey appeared in person at the Central Criminal Court of England and Wales, commonly known as the Old Bailey, in London, to deny the charges. The judge said a trial expected to run three to four weeks would begin on June 6, 2023, the British Press Association news agency reported, and granted Spacey continued unconditional bail. The judge said an additional hearing would take place earlier next year.

Spacey first appeared before a British court on the sexual assault charges about one month ago, where he was granted unconditional bail. He was not asked to enter a formal plea at that hearing, but his lawyer said then that he “strenuously denies any and all criminality in this case.”

Britain Kevin Spacey
Actor Kevin Spacey arrives at the Old Bailey, in London, July 14, 2022. Spacey appeared at the court in London after he was charged with sexual offenses against three men.FRANK AUGSTEIN/AP

After U.K. prosecutors authorized police to charge Spacey in May, the actor said in a statement to “Good Morning America” that he would face the charges in court, and The Associated Press said he had vowed to “prove my innocence.”

Spacey ran London’s renowned Old Vic Theatre for 11 years, from 2004 to 2015, serving as its artistic director.

In 2017, after American actor Anthony Rapp alleged that, when he was 14, Spacey climbed on top of him in a bed, numerous allegations of assault and inappropriate behavior were made against Spacey, and two years after his departure from the Old Vic, the theater said its own investigation into his conduct had drawn 20 allegations of inappropriate behavior. It said it encouraged 14 of the people who made the allegations to go to the police.

Spacey was questioned by British police in 2019 over claims made by several men that he had assaulted them.

“It sounds like Kevin Spacey feels that there’s still a possibility of rehabilitating himself in this country. So, I think the strategy is to come over here, face the music, and see if he can salvage his career,” Danny Rogers, editor in chief of PRWeek UK, told CBS News in June. “He must feel the damage is being done to ‘Brand Kevin Spacey’ after all the allegations over the past five, or 10 years. So, if the damage has been done, there’s still some headway to be made by fighting new allegations.”

In 2019, prosecutors in Massachusetts dropped a groping case that was brought against Spacey, who’d faced a felony charge of indecent assault and battery. The district attorney said he dropped it “due to the unavailability of the complaining witness.”

Spacey was accused of groping a then 18-year-old at a bar three years earlier. The accuser said Spacey bought him several alcoholic drinks before groped him.

CBS News correspondent Holly Williams and foreign editor Tucker Reals contributed to this report.

By Admins

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