Kevin Spacey Found Not Liable For Sexual Assault

Actor Kevin Spacey was found not liable in a civil sexual battery trial by a federal jury on Thursday in New York City. He was being sued for $40 million in damages by actor Anthony Rapp.

Rapp alleged that Spacey sexually assaulted him in 1986, when he was 14 years old and Spacey was 26. The case claimed Spacey intentionally committed assault, battery, and infliction of emotional distress against Rapp.

Spacey attorney Jennifer Keller said after the verdict was announced that her client is thankful to have the right every citizen in our country does to a trial by jurors who rule on “evidence and not rumor or social media.” She added that as a result of the jury’s “swift and decisive” verdict, “justice was done today.”

Rapp attorney Richard Steigman told reporters that his client “told his truth in court.” He said they respect the jury’s verdict, but “nothing changes that.”

Rapp said on a Twitter post after the verdict was rendered that his case had always been about “shining a light” against all forms of sexual violence. He added that he hopes that “survivors continue to tell their stories and fight for accountability.”

Rapp’s allegations against Spacey first became public five years ago through an interview he gave to Buzzfeed. Spacey responded at that time with a statement that provided he did not remember the alleged encounter. However, he also apologized for the acts described.

Both Rapp and Spacey testified during the trial that lasted for three weeks. Rapp told the jury that Spacey invited him to a party at his New York City apartment. He said that Spacey lured him into a bedroom after all the other guests had left and then laid on top of him on a bed. He said he managed to get away from Spacey and fled the apartment.

During his testimony, Spacey denied Rapp’s testimony was true. He told the jury that he would never be attracted to a teenager.

Spacey now must turn his attention to a criminal case pending in London that goes to trial next year. That matter involves claims of sexual assault made by mutliple men in the U.K.

The actor was ordered earlier this year by a judge to pay $31 million in damages to the producers of the Netflix series, “House of Cards.” Spacey’s contract was terminated in 2018 over several claims of sexual misconduct during the production of the show from 2013 through 2017. Among his alleged young male victims was a subordinate production assistant.