Cuba Gooding Jr. Hit With New Manhattan Groping Charge

Cuba Gooding Jr., with defense attorney Mark Heller (left) outside of Manhattan Criminal Court, after prosecutors brought additional charges accusing the actor of pinching a woman’s butt at a Chelsea night club in October 2018. Gooding pleaded not guilty. (Photo by JOSH RUSSELL/Courthouse News Service)

MANHATTAN (CN) – Prosecutors added a second accuser to the delayed trial of actor Cuba Gooding Jr., first charged in June with groping a woman at a New York nightclub.

Gooding, 51, pleaded not guilty to the new indictment Tuesday afternoon shortly before the proceedings in Manhattan Supreme Court broke for lunch.

The original complaint against Gooding accused him of forcibly touching a woman on June 9 at Magic Hour Rooftop Bar & Lounge near Times Square. Prosecutors say the “Jerry Maguire” star placed his hand on the 29-year-old’s breast and squeezed it without her consent.

Tuesday’s indictment now includes two new counts, saying Gooding had previously abused a woman at TAO Downtown. A memorandum from prosecutors says Gooding pinched a woman’s buttocks at the Chelsea nightclub on Oct. 24, 2018, and then claimed to have only pinched her back after she confronted him about the unwanted touching.

Gooding had made sexually suggestive remarks to the woman earlier in the night, the court filing states.

Assistant District Attorney Jenna Long told the court this afternoon that the state has 12 additional women willing to testify against the actor.

Outside of the courthouse, Gooding’s defense attorney Mark Heller told reporters that he is seeking to sever the two separate incidents, claiming the defense is ready to go to trial for the allegations brought by the first accuser.

Heller said there are two witnesses who say second alleged incident never happened and challenged the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office to release bar surveillance-video footage, which Heller said would vindicate Gooding from incredulous accusations.

The misdemeanor sexual-abuse case was set to go trial last week but was delayed by Justice Marisol Martinez Alonso, who sent the case to Justice Curtis Farber for rearraignment.

Gooding is released on his own recognizance. Justice Farber set the next court appearance in the case for Dec. 13

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