Kevin Spacey during a rare public appearance in August. (Getty)
Kevin Spacey has escaped sexual assault charges after his alleged victim passed away.
The disgraced actor was facing a potential criminal case after a massage therapist accused him of forcing him to touch his genitals and asking him for oral sex.
The alleged victim, who was never identified publicly, said that the incident took place during an appointment at Spacey’s home in October 2016.
He reported it to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, which referred the investigation to the District Attorney’s (DA) office in July 2018.
It first emerged in September that the masseur had passed away. At the time it was reported that the case could possibly continue, but on Monday, October 28, it was officially dropped.
“During the course of the investigation, the victim passed away,” Christina Buckley, the head deputy in the DA’s sex crimes unit, wrote.
“The sexual assault allegations cannot be proved without the participation of the victim. Thus, the case was declined.”
According to the Los Angeles Times, Spacey could still be held liable in a civil suit lodged by the alleged victim last year.
Kevin Spacey accused of sexual assault by a number of men.
The masseur was one of several men who came out with allegations against Spacey in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal and the #MeToo movement.
In October 2017, Star Trek actor Anthony Rapp alleged that Spacey had tried to seduce him in 1986. Rapp was 14 at the time, Spacey was 26.
Spacey claimed that he had no recollection of the incident (according to Rapp, he was inebriated at the time) and apologised for “what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behaviour”.
The actor used his apology as a coming out vehicle, publicly identifying as a gay man for the first time. He was widely and heavily criticised for conflating the two issues.
Several of Spacey’s alleged victims have tried to take legal action against him.
In September 2018, the Los Angeles DA declined to file charges against Spacey relating to an alleged incident in 1992, because it was beyond the statute of limitations.
In July 2019, Massachusetts prosecutors dropped a case in which a young man alleged Spacey had groped him “due to an unavailability of the complaining witness.” He denied the claims.
That same month, Variety reported that Scotland Yard officers had questioned Spacey over six separate allegations of sexual assault lodged with the force.
Spacey was based in London while serving as the artistic director of the Old Vic from 2003 to 2015. The theatre has said that it had received 20 individual allegations against Spacey. He has denied all allegations against him.