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Cuba Gooding Jr. Faces February Trial

Actor is charged with groping 3 women
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 18, 2021 12:30 PM CDT
Cuba Gooding Jr. Faces February Trial
Cuba Gooding Jr., right, arrives at criminal court for his sexual misconduct case, Monday, Oct. 18, 2021, in New York.   (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

(Newser) – Cuba Gooding Jr. will go on trial in February in his New York City groping case, a judge said Monday, with prosecutors planning to portray the actor as a serial offender and the defense contending the case is an example of #MeToo run amok. Judge Curtis Farber set a Feb. 1 trial date in the case, which involves allegations the Oscar-winning Jerry Maguire star violated three different women at three different Manhattan night spots in 2018 and 2019, the AP reports. One of the women alleged Gooding pinched her buttocks. Another said he squeezed her breast. Farber had expressed a desire to start the trial sooner, possibly in December, but Gooding lawyer Peter Toumbekis said he’ll be tied up with trials in the Bronx then.

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Gooding had been scheduled to go on trial in April 2020, but that was scuttled as coronavirus cases surged in New York and the state shut down most court matters. Gooding was arrested in June 2019 after a 29-year-old woman told police he squeezed her breast without her consent at Magic Hour Rooftop Bar & Lounge near Times Square. A few months later, Gooding was charged in two additional incidents as more women came forward to accuse him of abuse. He was accused of pinching a server’s buttocks after making a sexually suggestive remark to her at TAO Downtown and forcibly touching a woman inappropriately at the LAVO New York nightclub, both in 2018.

In all, Gooding, 53, is charged with six misdemeanor counts that could land him in jail if he is convicted. His lawyers have argued that overzealous prosecutors are trying to turn "commonplace gestures" or misunderstandings into crimes. Farber previously ruled that prosecutors can call two additional women to testify about their allegations that Gooding also violated them. Those women, whose claims did not result in criminal charges, were among 19 other accusers whom prosecutors were seeking to call as witnesses. In addition to the criminal case, Gooding is accused in a lawsuit of raping a woman in New York City in 2013.

(Read more Cuba Gooding Jr. stories.)

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