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Spacey defiant, will plead not guilty in felony sex-crime case

Kevin Spacey must appear in person at his arraignment next week to face a felony sex-crime charge of groping a teenage boy in a Nantucket bar, a judge ruled Monday, the same day Spacey indicated he would plead not guilty.

Spacey filed a motion Monday with the District Court on Nantucket Island seeking to be excused from appearing at the Jan. 7 arraignment, insisting that he didn’t need to be physically present to enter a plea. He also argued that the publicity surrounding his first public appearance since being accused last fall will likely taint the jury pool.

But Judge Thomas Barrett scrawled “Denied” on his motion, which included an affadavit signed by Kevin S. Fowler (Spacey’s real last name) in which he says he believes “my presence will amplify the negative publicity already generated in connection with this case.”

“I wish to enter a plea of not guilty,” his affadavit says. “I understand that if I fail to appear and answer to the charges pending against me without sufficient excuse, I can be subject to a fine or imprisonment or both…”

Meanwhile, tabloid photographs of Spacey were published showing he’s been living in a $6 million waterfront townhouse in Baltimore purchased by a trust.

Spacey’s motion to be excused from arraignment, filed by his local attorney, Juliane Balliro, says the case, in which Spacey is accused of felony indecent assault and battery on an 18-year-old busboy in July 2016, has “already generated extraordinary interest from national and local print and television media outlets.”

Forcing Spacey, who’s been avoiding the media for more than a year, to do a “perp walk” in front of a media mob at a tiny island courthouse would not be fair, his motion argues.

CONTINUE @ USA TODAY