Kevin Spacey was arraigned today on charges of sexual assault. We discuss the riveting courtroom experience while it was happening live with Shyann Malone and Joey Jackson on HLN TV.

#KevinSpacey arraigned today for sex assault claims. We discuss on HLN TV

January 7th, 2019

Shyann Malone: I want to bring in, now Defense Attorney Bob Bianchi, welcome Bob, we have him on the phone. Talk about the appearance, so this one, this appearance we had him out, you know ,he was set to face a judge in the courtroom and his Attorney did not want him to face a judge. But the judge denied that he wanted him to be here, but the upcoming appearance in March, he’s saying that he can waive his appearance on that. So, I mean there’s a little bit of an inconsistency here. Is there a reason behind that maybe, you know, he didn’t want him to appear today but not in the upcoming months?

Robert Bianchi: Well, the judge wants to set the preliminary stage to make sure that the defendant is aware of the charges in the initial proceeding, he’s aware of bail conditions, and things he can and can’t do. So, it’s not unusual that a judge would say at this stage he needs to appear so that I can make sure he knows all of his rights. But as we proceed down the line, if your client voluntarily waves his presence at certain stages, I’ll allow that to occur because I don’t consider that a critical core moment. But Shyann, the one thing I wanted to say is that, working on Joey’s point just a minute ago, I thought it was really interesting because as a Defense lawyer, you’ve got to be very careful when you ask for preservation of evidence especially electronic data. Because you come up with something that’s bad you could be actually assisting the Prosecution’s case, so as a Defense lawyer and as a former Prosecutor, when I hear the Defense lawyers actually asking for the preservation of electronic data, it says to me the client indicates something in that data in as Joey used the term, is exculpatory or that would assist the Defense. I think it’s a very odd request at this stage.

Shyann Malone: At this point, I have to move on though, but one-word answer do you expect any jail time?

Robert Bianchi: Yes.

Shyann Malone: All right, okay, Bob Bianchi. Okay thank you, our Jean Casarez is following today’s arraignment, joins us also live from outside the courthouse in Nantucket. Jean, kind of break down what you’re hearing on scene? There is probably a big scene outside now.

Jean Casarez: Sure, first of all I do want to show you, because right over here you see that crowd, you also see a lot of cars, blocking, but what is happening is that everyone is waiting for Kevin Spacey to walk out of this court house. It was a brief proceeding and with the amount of media here today is really extraordinary, because Kevin Spacey was ordered by a judge to appear in this courtroom for his arrangement. Now, the interesting, this arrangement turned into some legal argument really about discovery. Because according to the accuser, when he was sexually assaulted by Kevin Spacey at a local restaurant that’s about two blocks away, that it happened for about three minutes. And he was texting his girlfriend at the same time, saying what was happening allegedly, and the girlfriend didn’t believe him. So, he took a fast picture on Snapchat and that what we understand it shows a hand touching clothes, don’t know whose hand or what clothes. But that the Defense said, we want to see those exact texts between the accuser and the girlfriend. And we not only want, July 7th and 8th of 2016, but we want six months after that, and we want it preserved because its discovery, we have a right, and we believe it could help us.

Shyann Malone: Certainly, a new detail that we learned there in that hearing. Jean, this is a very close knit you know smaller community, what’s been the reaction to this? Obviously, people flocking to see this actor but what else, anything?

Jean Casarez: Well, on the one hand, there’s a steady stream of cars. There are some commercial vehicles but a lot of people are just driving around today, everyone knows what’s happening at this courthouse. People I think, I haven’t heard a lot of opinions except that people are concerned that a local young man who said he was twenty three to Kevin Spacey, when Kevin Spacey asked, are you of age to drink? He said, yes, I’m twenty-three and he was eighteen and that Kevin Spacey then allegedly bought him drink, after drink, after drink. Four to five beers and then four to five shots of alcohol at the bar and this is where this young man worked. And so, that is on the minds of a lot of people here, underage drinking, that it was allowed to happen. They don’t feel its good publicity for the island but of course, those in the camp of the accuser believe this is all about justice and sexual assault, and unwanted touching that was done without someone’s consent. Because that is what the accuser is saying.

Shyann Malone: All right Jean Casarez, thank you so much for your insight on this. I know you’re on and you will continue to give us details as they unfold. Let’s go back now to Criminal Defense Attorney Joey Jackson, and I asked, you know, the question I only gave Bob a couple seconds to answer, but do you agree with Bob on this jail time? Do you expect Kevin Spacey to get any?

Joey Jackson: Bob is a brilliant lawyer, a former Prosecutor, and now an esteemed Defense Attorney, the disagreement that I have is that I don’t think that he’ll be convicted. I mean given the evidence that I hear so far, that’s a bold prediction. But what I’m hearing, if this is what the Prosecution is basing its case upon, I’m a bit troubled that they don’t have the goods. I think what he has to worry about, that is Mr. Spacey, is he has to worry about the judge letting in all kinds of extraneous information, we saw that in Cosby, Shyann. Where there were multiple other victims and accusers, and everyone else in the first Cosby trial, you know, there were only a couple. And then the next trial the judge lets in five. I think the same thing here because that also has a tendency to poison the jury, hey this guy’s a serial, you know, a sexual assaulter, and let’s hold him accountable for this. But I I’m very troubled by the evidence, I mean just using common sense, never wanting to blame the victim, never wanted to take anything away from the victim, and different people react differently under certain circumstances. But if someone has their hands in my pants for three minutes, I mean you know, if it’s not consensual and I don’t want it, what specific step do you take to stop it? Do you say no? Do you say, well Mr. Spacey I respect you greatly, but that’s not what I do. MR. Spacey can you remove yourself, can you then remove yourself and go away, which he eventually did. But to be Snap Chatting and saying to his girlfriend what happened, and then remember, he was also drinking, etcetera, and it sounded like two people who were very much having a discussion and some type of consensual flirting in a bar. And so, we’re a long ways away from the presentation of evidence, we don’t know what discovery will develop, but if the facts are based upon as I see them here, I’m not only seeing an issue of jail time but I see an issue of a Defendant who very much has a defensible case and could be found not guilty.

Shyann Malone: Bob, I want to give you a chance to respond to that too, but I just want to kind of set the scene for viewers, as we can see the images right now. You can see an SUV leaving the courthouse in Nantucket. Kevin Spacey said to be inside that vehicle, but out Bob would you want to respond to Joey?

Robert Bianchi: I agree with everything Joey says even though we’re coming to different conclusions but Joey and myself discussed a lot, The Cosby trial, and I think that’s the key factor here. I was not appreciative, or I didn’t think it was necessarily correct to pile on complaint after complaint after complaint, based on evidence ruled called 404, but I won’t get to technical. But Joey’s right, that poisons the jury so there are some oddities about how this was presented by the victim. But if they allow evidence, which I suspect in this case they will, I’m not saying it’s right in fact I don’t think it’s right, but in cases where there’s high profile people this is what Prosecutors do. They try to put as much bad character evidence as they can and when you add it all together, it’s kind of almost forces a guilty verdict. And I think Joey and myself agree with that in Cosby, and if that happens here, I see a conviction. If it doesn’t happen here, well then, the Defense definitely has the very arguments that Joey is making.

Shyann Malone: All right. Bob Bianchi, Joey Jackson, thank you both for your expertise on that.