A Grand Jury Refuses to Indict ‘Frasier’ Star on a Sex Charge


By Jon Nordheimer

  • Feb. 25, 1995
Credit…The New York Times Archives

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A Somerset County grand jury has refused to indict Kelsey Grammer, the star of the television series “Frasier,” on sexual assault charges based on a teen-ager’s complaint that he had sex with her at a local hotel in 1993, when she was 15.

The young woman’s delay of more than a year in pressing charges against Mr. Grammer made it difficult to support her claim, the County Prosecutor, Nicholas L. Bissell Jr., said today.

The delay also meant there was no physical evidence to support a prosecution, he said.

Authorities in Arizona are looking into claims by the young woman, now 17, that she and Mr. Grammer, 39, had intercourse on two occasions at a resort in that state. She had said that the New Jersey incident took place in June 1993 at the Somerset Hills Hotel in Warren while she was babysitting for Mr. Grammer’s 9-year-old daughter.

Mr. Grammer was notified of the grand jury’s decision as he was getting ready to work on an episode of his weekly series, in which he portrays Dr. Frasier Crane, a pedantic psychiatrist. He originated the role on the long-running television hit “Cheers.”

“I have said from the outset that there was no basis for the allegations,” he said in a statement released through a public relations firm, Sitrick and Company. “I look forward to putting this all behind me.”

He previously had described the allegations as an attempt to extort money from him.

The young woman testified before the grand jury on Thursday. The panel also listened to tapes of what were purported to be messages left by the actor on a voice-mail service for teen-agers operated by a Phoenix telephone company. And they heard conversations between the two that the young woman has said she taped to keep as “mementos.”

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Lawyers for Mr. Grammer went into Federal court last week in an unsuccessful attempt to block prosecutors from playing the tapes for the grand jury. John Esposito, a Brooklyn lawyer representing the young woman, has said the tapes included “sexually suggestive” comments made by Mr. Grammer.

The allegations first came to light 16 months ago when a lawyer representing the girl’s family telephoned Mr. Bissell with hearsay evidence obtained from her friends. But the girl reportedly refused to cooperate with investigators, and the case was closed.

“She did not come forward immediately,” Mr. Bissell recalled today. “She refused and waited another year.”

Consequently, he said, “there is no physical evidence.” He said that despite the weakness of the case, he still felt it incumbent on his office to present allegations of sexual assault and to let a grand jury decide if an indictment was warranted.

Conviction of second-degree sexual assault in New Jersey carries a possible prison sentence of 5 to 10 years. A version of this article appears in print on Feb. 25, 1995, Section 1, Page 29 of the National edition with the headline: A Grand Jury Refuses to Indict ‘Frasier’ Star on a Sex Charge. Order Reprints | Today’s Paper | Subscribe

Remember the Game of the Democrat Party has been going on for years as to who to protect, and who to take down less the truth be told.

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