Kevin Spacey has appeared in court to face accusations he groped a young man in a bar on the resort island of Nantucket, in the US state of Massachusetts, in 2016.

Spacey appeared calm and listened closely but did not speak during the brief hearing in a packed room at Nantucket District Court on Monday (local time).

The Oscar winner entered his not guilty plea in paperwork ahead of the hearing. He is charged with one count of indecent assault and battery for allegedly shoving his hand down an 18-year-old busboy’s pants at a Nantucket bar in July 2016.

The disgraced actor was arraigned on a charge of felony indecent assault and battery. He did not enter a plea.

Judge Thomas Barrett ruled Spacey must stay away from the young man he’s accused of groping for several minutes after plying him with alcohol.

Prosecutors did not request any restrictions on his travels.

A request by Spacey’s lawyer to preserve evidence, including text messages and a Snapchat message the victim sent his girlfriend during the alleged assault, was granted.

The judge set another hearing for March 4. Spacey does not have to appear.

Spacey has said he intends to plead not guilty. His lawyer has also questioned the evidence against him.

It’s the first criminal case brought against the 59-year-old after a string of sexual misconduct allegations crippled his career in 2017.

His first accuser, actor Anthony Rapp, said Spacey climbed on top of him on a bed when Rapp was 14 and Spacey 26.

Spacey said he did not remember such an encounter but apologised if the allegations were true.

The hearing comes more than a year after former Boston TV anchor Heather Unruh accused the former House of Cards star of sexually assaulting her son, then 18, in the crowded bar at the Club Car, where the teen worked as a busboy.

She told reporters in November 2017 that Spacey got her son drunk and then grabbed his genitals during the incident. She said her son fled the restaurant when Spacey went to the bathroom.

Spacey’s lawyer has sought to poke holes in the case, noting that the teenager didn’t immediately report the allegations.

If convicted, Spacey faces as many as five years in prison.

A judge denied Spacey’s bid to avoid appearing in person on Monday at Nantucket District Court. Spacey had argued his presence would “amplify the negative publicity already generated” by the case.

After the charge was announced last month, Spacey released a video in the voice of Frank Underwood, his character on Netflix’s House of Cards, in which he said, “I’m certainly not going to pay the price for the thing I didn’t do.” It was unclear whether he was referring to the charge.