Oscar-winning actor Kevin Spacey is set to stand trial in London on Wednesday on multiple sexual assault charges.
Spacey’s case is one of the few to go to British courts, although many celebrities have been accused of misconduct since the #MeToo movement rose to prominence six years ago.
The 63-year-old actor has already pleaded not guilty to all charges. this month, Zeit magazine interviewa German magazine, said he expects to be found not guilty and then resume acting.
The trial at Southwark Crown Court is scheduled to last four weeks. During that time, courts are likely to be filled with reporters and celebrity watchers following the case.
Here’s what you should know:
Why is Kevin Spacey on trial in England?
Spacey is accused of sexually assaulting four men in the UK between 2001 and 2013. For most of that period, Mr. Spacey was artistic director of the Old Vic Theatre, one of London’s most acclaimed theatres.
Last June, the UK public prosecutor’s office charged Mr Spacey with four counts of sexually assaulting three men and another offense of allowing sexual intercourse without the other’s consent.
A few months later, in November, prosecutors authorized seven more indictments against Spacey in connection with different accusers. Three of them were for sexual assault, three for indecent assault, and one for having sex without consent.
Both pricing sets are considered for this month’s trial.
How will the trial be conducted?
British criminal lawyer Anna Bradshaw said in a telephone interview that the case would be different from the US trial. In England, legal professionals called barristers advocate in court in the traditional dress of white wigs and black gowns.
Bradshaw added that the trial will not be televised because cameras are rarely allowed in British courts. (Instead, a professional artist sketches the scene.)
Bradshaw said whistleblowers would not be made public either, adding that the rule was put in place to protect the privacy of whistleblowers and encourage victims of sexual assault to report incidents to police. . They will likely present evidence “via video link, or perhaps behind a screen or curtain in court,” and be cross-examined, Bradshaw said.
During the four-week trial, prosecutors first brief a 12-member jury on the case, then Spacey’s team defends.
What penalties could Mr. Spacey face?
One of them carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. Some face a possible prison sentence. Under British law, judges have some flexibility to change sentences.
In the event of a guilty verdict, the judge would typically hold another hearing at a later date to announce the verdict, Bradshaw added.
What does Mr. Spacey say about the accusations?
At two hearings over the past year, Spacey has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him. Spacey’s legal representative, Patrick Gibbs, told the court last June that Spacey was determined to prove his innocence.
In the UK, it is a crime to publish information that could bias a jury, and defendants like Spacey face certain restrictions on using the press to develop their case before trial. are doing.
To avoid breaking British law, Spacey did not mention the incident in his Zeit article, except to emphasize his innocence. However, he said he knows a director he would like to work with once the trial is over. “I know there are people right now who are ready to hire me as soon as I am cleared of these charges,” he said.