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Britain’s Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), the public agency conducting criminal prosecutions in England and Wales, has authorized criminal charges against Kevin Spacey.
“The CPS has authorized criminal charges against Kevin Spacey, 62, for four counts of sexual assault against three men” who are now in their 30s and 40s, Rosemary Ainslie, head of the CPS Special Crime Division, said in a statement Thursday afternoon. “He has also been charged with causing a person to engage in penetrative sexual activity without consent. The charges follow a review of the evidence gathered by the [London] Metropolitan Police in its investigation.”
Spacey was appointed as the artistic director of the Old Vic theater in London’s Lambeth neighborhood in 2003 and held that role until 2015. The CPS and the Metropolitan Police in statements on Thursday cited offenses that allegedly took place in London and Gloucestershire between March 2005 and April 2013.
Sexual assault “attracts a maximum 10-year sentence on indictment,” according to the CPS website. Causing penetrative sexual activity without consent “attracts a maximum sentence of life imprisonment,” it adds.
The CPS reminded “all concerned that criminal proceedings against Mr. Spacey are active, and that he has the right to a fair trial.” And it highlighted that its function “is not to decide whether a person is guilty of a criminal offense, but to make fair, independent and objective assessments about whether it is appropriate to present charges for a criminal court to consider.” It added: “The CPS assessment of any case is not in any sense a finding of, or implication of, any guilt or criminal conduct. It is not a finding of fact, which can only be made by a court.”
When the charges were announced on Thursday, Spacey was in Manhattan federal court for the civil case brought against him by actor Anthony Rapp, who is suing Spacey for assault, battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
British media reports also quoted the CPS as saying that Spacey was not currently in England or Wales, and that the charges couldn’t formally be applied until he enters one of them. Reports also noted that the CPS could not confirm or deny whether Spacey, as an American, would need to be extradited to the U.K. to face the charges or if or when an extradition request could be made.
Spacey won Oscars for his roles in The Usual Suspects and American Beauty and a Tony for Lost in Yonkers. He also earned 12 Emmy nominations, mostly for House of Cards.
Sexual assault and misconduct allegations derailed his career in 2017. In November of that year, the Old Vic said it had received 20 separate allegations of inappropriate conduct by Spacey covering the period from 1995 until 2013. His first projects since the claims came to light are two independent features that were being shopped at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival market.
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