LONDON (Reuters) -Oscar-winning actor Kevin Spacey appeared at a British court on Thursday to face allegations of sex offences after he was charged by London police earlier this week.
Spacey is accused of five offences: four counts of sexual assault, and a further charge of causing a person to engage in penetrative sexual activity without consent. Prosecutors say Spacey forced a man to have oral sex.
Spacey, wearing glasses and a light blue suit, arrived with his legal team for the first hearing in his case at London’s Westminster Magistrates Court.
Police said the alleged assaults had taken place between March 2005 and April 2013 – four in the British capital and one in Gloucestershire, west England. They involved one man who is now in his 40s and two men now in their 30s.
Spacey, once one of Hollywood’s biggest stars, has largely disappeared from public view since being accused of sexual misconduct five years ago.
The 62-year-old, who won Oscars for best actor in “American Beauty” and best supporting actor in “The Usual Suspects”, has previously denied all accusations of misconduct.
He was dropped from the TV show “House of Cards” and removed from the movie “All the Money in the World” after the accusations of sexual misconduct came to light.
The serious nature of the charge involving oral sex means the case will have to be sent to a higher court for trial.
If found guilty of sexual assault, he would face a six-month prison sentence or an unlimited fine, but the other offence carries a maximum punishment of life imprisonment.
Spacey has previously lived in Britain. He was the artistic director of London’s Old Vic theatre between 2004 and 2015.
(Reporting by Michael Holden; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)