AceShowbiz - Kevin Spacey has lost his bid to sit out a New Year's court appearance in Massachusetts over allegations of sexual assault.
The actor was charged with felony indecent assault and battery last week (December 24) following claims he groped an 18-year-old male in a Nantucket restaurant in 2016.
His arraignment is set to take place in Nantucket District Court on January 7 (2019), but "The Usual Suspects" star's lawyer, Juliane Balliro, asked a judge to allow Spacey to give the hearing a miss, claiming his presence would "amplify the negative publicity already generated in connection with this case."
According to court papers obtained by The Associated Press, Balliro also argued Spacey's attendance would only "heighten prejudicial media interest in the case" and increase the possibility of contaminating the jury pool should the case go to trial.
Judge Thomas Barrett presided over the request on Monday, December 31, but declined to grant the motion, meaning the 59 year old will have to face the charges in court in person.
The news emerges days after it was revealed that his alleged victim, the son of Heather Unruh, an ex-reporter for Boston's WCVB network, had allegedly captured part of the supposed encounter on camera in a Snapchat video message sent to his girlfriend from the restaurant where he worked.
Unruh went public with the accusations in November, 2017, when she staged a press conference detailing the alleged incident, and confessed her teenage son had lied about being 21 as he had yet to reach the legal drinking age.
However, she accused the Oscar winner of plying her kid with alcohol and then allegedly groping his genitals without consent.
Spacey plans to plead not guilty to the counts. He faces up to five years behind bars if convicted of the charges.