Judge denies Kevin Spacey's request to skip court appearance

BOSTON — A judge has denied lawyers for Kevin Spacey's request to allow the actor to skip his arraignment on sexual assault charges in a Massachusetts courthouse next month.

Spacey's attorneys filed the motion asking to excuse his presence at a Jan. 7 hearing in Nantucket District Court. The filing cites "heightened media interest in the case" and increased "risk of contamination of the pool of jurors available for the trial" as the reason for the request.

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The judge denied Spacey's request so the actor must appear in court.

Cape and Islands Assistant District Attorney Michael Giardino wrote that Spacey's appearance is required under state rules for criminal case procedure.

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The 59-year-old Oscar winner is charged with felony indecent assault and battery.

Prosecutors say he groped an 18-year-old man in a Nantucket restaurant in 2016.

Spacey's attorneys have not spoken publicly about the case but in a court hearing questioned the evidence.