Cuba Gooding faces new sex abuse charges, pleads not guilty

LAVO nightclub waitress claims the Oscar winner 'pinched her buttocks' on his way out the club

Cuba Gooding Jr. was in court yesterday facing new charges that he “forcibly touched” a New York nightclub waitress last year.

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Cuba Gooding Jr. was in court yesterday facing new charges that he “forcibly touched” a New York nightclub waitress last year.

The woman became the third to accuse Gooding of inappropriate sexual touching in his sex abuse case. Gooding faces charges from three women in separate incidents, according to CNN.

READ MORE: Prosecutors will not move on sex assault claim against Cuba Gooding Jr.

Gooding was handcuffed and surrounded by his attorneys as he appeared in New York Supreme Court on Thursday. The Academy Award-winning actor was there to hear the latest sexual assault allegations, in which a waitress at LAVO nightclub accuses Gooding of forcibly touching her in September 2018. He is now charged with three counts of forcibly touching and three counts of third-degree sex abuse. Gooding also faces charges from previously alleged incidents in October 2018 at TAO Downtown and in June of this year at Magic Hour club in Midtown, CNN reported.

He has pleaded not guilty to all charges and maintains his innocence.

In court, Gooding’s lawyers poked holes in the new indictment, stating that it is unknown what the exact offense is that his client has allegedly perpetrated.  According to the attorney the allegation just notes that “something” happened. Prosecutors argued that they have several additional women who all claim they were groped by Gooding that they could put before the court to testify.

READ MORE: Cuba Gooding Jr. pleads not guilty to allegations of sexual misconduct

Both sides argued over who leaked a videotape to TMZ that allegedly shows Gooding in an incident with a waitress at TAO Downtown named Natasha Ashworth. Ashworth alleges that Gooding “pinched her buttocks” on his way out of the club.

After the court proceeding, Gooding’s lawyers spoke to reporters outside of the courthouse. Mark Jay Heller said prosecutors were “maliciously prosecuting” Gooding simply because he’s a celebrity. “Anyone who has seen this video would say that there wasn’t any touching that is inappropriate,” Heller said, according to CNN.

“What I see in the TAO video is at roughly 4:30 a.m., at the end of the day, Cuba is exiting the facility and with the back of his hand, his fingernail, he taps the lady in the back and turns around to give her a high five just as a salutation of goodbye — it’s not criminal conduct whatsoever.”