The latest investigation into Oscar winner Kevin Spacey under review by the Los Angeles district attorney’s office involves an allegation that he sexually battered a man in Malibu in October 2016.
Prosecutors last month began reviewing the Los Angeles County sheriff’s investigation of the allegation, which was reported in May. Law enforcement sources told The Times that the investigation concerns an allegation of sexual battery — an unwanted touching of another person for purposes of sexual arousal, gratification or abuse.
Spacey’s attorney did not return calls or an email seeking comment.
Sexual battery can be considered a misdemeanor or felony charge depending on the seriousness of the offense. It often includes acts such as groping, though no further details on the investigation were available.
If the allegation falls within a misdemeanor, the complaint against the actor would be too old to charge. But if it is a felony-level allegation, it would be within the statute of limitations.
Sheriff’s spokeswoman Nicole Nishida said she could not discuss the specifics of the allegation against Spacey beyond that the incident is alleged to have taken place in Malibu in October 2016.
It is the second investigation of Spacey that prosecutors are reviewing. Prosecutors have not made a decision on the other incident, but it is alleged to have occurred in the 1990s and would fall outside the statute of limitations.
Spacey is also the subject of six police investigations in London, dating to 1996, and one in Nantucket, Mass., where he was accused of groping an 18-year-old man in a bar.
Dmitry Gorin, a former sex-crimes prosecutor In L.A. who now defends those accused of such crimes, said Penal Code 243.4 sexual battery is typically charged as a misdemeanor and that most of the time it involves touching over clothing.
“It is rarely charged as a felony,” he said.
The felony level of the crime usually involves touching on bare skin beneath clothing or restraining the victim while doing the touching, he said. “In those cases, prosecutors will often pursue other more serious sex-crime charges, he said.
A misdemeanor conviction on sexual battery can result in a year in jail, but a felony conviction can lead to a sentence of up to four years in prison.