Kevin Spacey has been charged in the UK with 4 counts of sexual assault

British prosecutors said Thursday they have charged actor Kevin Spacey with four counts of sexual assault against three men, an announcement that came as the actor appeared in a New York court while testifying in a different case.

The Crown Prosecution Office said Spacey “has also been charged with making a person engage in penetrative sexual activity without their consent”. The alleged incidents occurred in London between March 2005 and August 2008, and one in western England in April 2013. The alleged victims are now in their 30s and 40s.

Rosemary Ainsley, the service’s head of special crimes, said the charges came after a review of evidence collected by the Metropolitan Police in London.

British police questioned Spacey, 62, a double Academy Award winner, in 2019 over allegations by several men that he assaulted them. The “House of Cards” star ran London’s Old Vic Theater between 2004 and 2015.

Spacey won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for the 1995 movie “The Usual Suspects” and the Academy Award for Leading Actor for the movie “American Beauty” in 1999.

But his famous career came to an abrupt halt in 2017 when actor Anthony Rapp accused the star of assaulting him at a party in the ’80s, when Rapp was a teenager. Spacey denies these allegations.

Spacey testified Thursday in a New York City courtroom in the civil suit brought by Rapp. Spacey did not respond to reporters as he left the courtroom speaking on his mobile phone.

The new criminal charges were mentioned briefly by Rapp’s attorney during the court hearing, and Spacey’s attorneys were asked about them by reporters during a break in testimony. They refused to comment.

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Another criminal case against Spacey, a charge of indecent assault and battery charge arising from the alleged harassment of an 18-year-old man at a Nantucket resort, was dismissed by Massachusetts attorneys general in 2019.

Thursday’s court hearing in New York City addressed a technical issue in the civil lawsuit, whether it would be best dealt with in a federal court or a US court. Spacey has been called to testify about where he lives, not about the veracity of the allegations against him.

Spacey testified that his principal residence and residence were in Baltimore, where he moved to film “House of Cards.” He said he was “fascinated by her charm and beauty”. But he also testified about his time in London as Old Vic’s artistic director.

“It was so important to me that I adored myself for a British audience, and that I would not run away,” he said, noting that his start there was turbulent due to the “disastrous production” in 2005 of Arthur Miller’s last play.

But he said, “I am an American citizen. Once the job is done, I go back to America.”

He said he made a trip to London in February 2020 for a possible movie, but then the pandemic spread. His American doctor recommended he stay there, where he stayed until the following September, when his visa expired and he flew to Los Angeles for the arbitration.

He said he has not returned to the UK since then.

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Associated Press writer Larry Neumeister of New York contributed to this report.

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He corrects the story to reflect that it was Rapp’s attorney, not Spacey, who filed the criminal charges in court.

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