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Civil Lawsuit Against Spacey Could Be A Question Of Timing

BOSTON (CBS) - A young man who accused Kevin Spacey of groping him at a Nantucket bar has filed a civil suit against the actor, who is also fighting a criminal charge stemming from the alleged assault.

It could come down to deadlines.  The statute of limitations to file a civil suit runs out next month, three years after Spacey's then-18-year-old accuser says the Oscar-winner got him drunk and groped him at Club Car, where he was employed as a busboy.  The civil suit seeks unspecified monetary damages for emotional distress.

READ MORE: Kevin Spacey Accuser Files Civil Lawsuit In Nantucket Incident

"As a result of defendant Kevin Spacey Fowler's explicit sexual behavior and lewd and lascivious conduct with the Plaintiff, the Plaintiff suffers, has suffered and will continue to suffer in the future severe mental distress and emotional injuries," the suit said.

Legal analyst and attorney Josh Tracey said the alleged victim's lawyer Mitchell Garabedian may also be trying to compel Spacey to answer questions about what happened that night to help the criminal case.

"There are discovery reasons, seeking information from Kevin Spacey, that Mr. Garabedian hopes to share with the prosecution in the criminal case," Tracey said.

Spacey pleaded not guilty to indecent assault and battery, and his attorneys have claimed the accuser, the son of former Boston television anchor Heather Unruh, is trying to get money from a high-profile figure.

The bar for a civil suit is much lower than a criminal case, where questions have already been raised about a missing cellphone the defense is seeking from the accuser, trying to recover text messages related to the incident.

The civil suit also demands a jury trial, which Tracey said in the era of the #MeToo movement, could be effective.

"You have a public figure in Kevin Spacey with a movement afoot to redress injuries suffered by people abused by very public people," said Tracey.

The next date in the criminal case is July 8, when the judge has set a deadline for the missing cellphone to be produced.

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