Cuba Gooding Jr. pleads not guilty to allegations of sexual misconduct
Actor Cuba Gooding Jr., pleaded not guilty to four counts of sexual misconduct, including two counts of forcible touching and two more of third degree sexual abuse during an arraignment in New York on Tuesday
Led into the courtroom in handcuffs, Gooding faced accusations relating to incidents that allegedly took place at a rooftop bar and in nightclub in Manhattan in 2018. In the indictment, prosecutors say they have received 12 other accusations from additional women dating back to 2001, which they believe shows a pattern of inappropriate behavior.
According to CBS New York, a 29-year-old woman is accusing Gooding of grabbing her breast on June 9 while they were both at a bar near Times Square.
While the alleged victim admitted to police that she thought he was intoxicated, she was clear that the physical contact occurred without her consent. The actor, who won an Oscar for his supporting role in “Jerry Maguire” in 1997, was arrested four days later after turning himself in to police. He pleaded not guilty to forcible touching and was subsequently released on his own recognizance.
Gooding’s attorneys have vigorously and consistently denied the accusations against him.
Despite his attorney’s objections, the actor’s trial was postponed in September after prosecutors said they were still waiting for evidence in the case. In the midst of this, three new accusers have reportedly told the authorities similar stories of sexual misconduct that date as far back as a decade ago. At least one of their accounts is believed to have taken place inside a restaurant.
People reports that the claims made by these unidentified women are currently being investigated and no charges against the actor have yet been filed. It is unclear if these allegations are part of those the prosecutors have received.
“If there was any evidence it would have already been presented to the grand jury,” opined Gooding’s attorney, Mark Heller, who dismissed the three women’s claims as baseless. “The allegations will never result in a conviction for anything.”
Heller also claims that the accuser from last October only came forward after she unsuccessfully attempted to shake down the 51-year-old actor for money.