Actor Kevin Spacey leaves Nantucket District Court after being arraigned on sexual assault charges back in January. (Scott Eisen/Getty Images)
NANTUCKET, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — The man accusing actor Kevin Spacey of groping him three years ago took the stand briefly in a hearing Monday to answer questions about a cell phone at the center of the case—then invoked his Fifth Amendment rights.
Spacey's accuser, the son of former Boston news anchor Heather Unruh, claims the actor groped him and got him drunk at the Club Car restaurant on Nantucket in 2016.
The cell phone in question was used by the accuser to send several texts about the incident. The accuser's legal team had been ordered to hand that phone over by Monday.
Spacey's lawyers claim those texts could exonerate him—but the lawyer for Spacey's accuser, Mitchell Garabedian, says they cannot find the phone.
"We could not locate the phone," Garabedian stated in court. "My clients do not recall ever receiving the phone."
Lawyers for Spacey are now urging the judge to dismiss the case, saying it is completely compromised. Without the alleged victim's testimony, the judge is now questioning whether prosecutors have a viable case.
Garabedian said he could provide the court with a thumb drive containing information from the phone that's been retrieved from other sources, including a MacBook, where some material was backed up.
That wasn't good enough for Spacey's defense attorney, Alan Jackson.
"Where is the actual phone?" he said. "That's what we want, that's what we're entitled to, and we still don't have it."
Unruh and her son say they don't believe they got the phone back from Massachusetts State Police investigators, but State Police say the phone was returned.
The accuser said he didn't "definitively remember" whether or not his mother advised him to delete or alter any texts before going to police, but said that, theoretically, she might have.
But after his short testimony, the accuser invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.
State Trooper Gerald Donovan, who led the investigation, took the stand Monday and admitted Unruh deleted data from the phone prior to handing it over to police.
"She said she had deleted some 'fratboy activities,' something along that line," Trooper Donovan said.
Trooper Donovan said investigators knew text messages were deleted, because the messages were seen in screenshots sent to others, but were missing from the phone when it was examined.
Unruh was asked by the defense about the phone, and whether she ever had a conversation with her son about getting rid of the phone.
"Absolutely not," she said. "No one wants that phone more than we do ... It's central to the case. We turned it over because it was central to the case, and no one wants that phone found more than we do."
Spacey did not appear in court Monday, as he was not required to be there.