U.K. prosecutor charges actor Kevin Spacey with sexual assault

In this June 3, 2019, file photo, actor Kevin Spacey attends a pretrial hearing at district court in Nantucket, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

Oscar-winning actor Kevin Spacey has been charged with sex offenses including assaults on three men following an investigation by police in London, Britain's Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said on Thursday.

Police said the alleged offenses had taken place between March 2005 and April 2013, with four incidents taking place in the capital and one in Gloucestershire. They involved one man who is now in his 40s and two men now in their 30s.

"The CPS has authorized criminal charges against Kevin Spacey, 62, for four counts of sexual assault against three men," Rosemary Ainslie, Head of the CPS Special Crime Division, said in a statement.

"He has also been charged with causing a person to engage in penetrative sexual activity without consent. The charges follow a review of the evidence gathered by the Metropolitan Police in its investigation."

Spacey, once one of Hollywood's biggest stars, has largely disappeared from public view since being accused of sexual misconduct five years ago.

In November 2017, London's Old Vic theater said it had received 20 separate allegations of inappropriate conduct by Spacey from 20 men who came into contact with him at the theater, or in connection with it, between 1995 and 2013.

He was dropped from the TV show "House of Cards" and removed from the movie "All the Money in the World" after the accusations of sexual misconduct came to light.

The 62-year-old, who won Oscars for best actor in "American Beauty" and best supporting actor in "The Usual Suspects," has previously denied all accusations of misconduct.

Roberto Cavazos, an actor who worked at the Old Vic, where Spacey was artistic director between 2004 and 2015, said in 2017 he had encounters with the Hollywood star at the time "that verged on what you could call harassment."

It is not known if Cavazos is one of the men Spacey has been charged with assaulting.

Spacey is being sued in the United States by actor Anthony Rapp who accuses him of sexual assault and battery in the 1980s when Rapp was about 14. 

A judge in Manhattan last year dismissed claims by a second man who was suing Spacey, after the plaintiff refused to identify himself publicly.

In 2019, Massachusetts prosecutors dropped a criminal case accusing Spacey of sexually assaulting an 18-year-old man at a bar three years earlier after the alleged victim refused to testify.

(Reporting by Kylie MacLellan; Editing by William James, Michael Holden and Catherine Evans)