Law student assisted on Spacey case
WHEN Hollywood actor Kevin Spacey pleaded not guilty to indecent assault, he was being watched in court by a Hobart law student.
Fourth-year University of Tasmania scholar Sam Wilson was assisting the District Attorney prosecute the
House of Cards and American Beauty star after he was accused of groping an 18-yearold man in a Nantucket bar.
Mr Wilson, 22, was born in the United States but moved to Tasmania as a baby. Last summer, emboldened by his mentor — Hobart academic and ex-lawyer Martin Harris — Mr Wilson decided to visit his American family and pick up some legal experience while there.
He took on an internship with the Cape and Island District Attorney’s Office in Massachusetts and, in a “bizarre” turn of events, ended up helping prosecutors with work in the Spacey case.
Spacey was accused of groping a teenage boy in a Nantucket bar during 2016, but the charges were dropped in July this year when the complainant refused to testify. British police are still investigating six cases of alleged sexual misconduct against the star.
Mr Wilson, given the job of finding legal reasons to not release court documents in the Nantucket case to journalists, was in court in January when Spacey was arraigned to enter a plea to his charge.
“He was wearing a floral collared dress shirt and some slacks and dress shoes. He was very composed, very blank face, didn’t really give anything, just held his composure,” Mr Wilson said.
“He said a couple of words but, aside from that, his attorneys did all the work for him. He got guided out by the security guards and all the media went nuts.”
The charges were dropped after Mr Wilson returned to Tasmania. Mr Wilson has one year left of his double degree in finance and law before he graduates.