Cuba Gooding Jr. Pleads Not Guilty to New Sexual Misconduct Charges

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Cuba Gooding Jr. turned himself in to the NYPD on Tuesday and pleaded not guilty to one count of forcible touching and one count of sexual abuse in the third degree regarding a new accuser.

Earlier this month, the Manhattan District Attorney announced that Gooding had been indicted on another charge, though it was previously sealed until his arraignment on Tuesday.  According to court documents obtained by ET, the actor is accused of pinching the buttocks of a woman without her consent while at TAO nightclub in New York City on Oct. 24, 2018. According to court documents, the woman says she confronted the actor after the alleged incident and that he claimed he only pinched her back, not her buttocks. The accuser claims he also made a "sexually suggestive remark" to her earlier that same night.

The indictment also includes 12 witnesses with allegations for which Gooding is not being charged. However, prosecutors are including them to show a pattern of behavior. One allegation involved Gooding allegedly "rubbing his groin and pelvis" against a woman from behind while simultaneously grabbing her buttocks and her breast with his hand while at the W hotel in Los Angeles 2001. The accuser claims she had no previous interaction with the actor before the incident. Another allegation includes a woman who claims Gooding bit her bare shoulder twice while at a club in Los Angeles in 2006, then allegedly "began to thrust his pelvis" into her leg and attempted to lift the bottom of her shirt up before one of her companions allegedly pulled him away.

Gooding's next court appearance is set for Dec. 13. His attorney, Mark Heller, spoke to reporters in front of the Manhattan courthouse on Tuesday.

"We are completely confident that there will be no criminal conviction of Cuba Goding Jr.," Heller said. "Cuba Gooding is certainly innocent of the allegations that will be presented today before the court and we are going to ask that the court send this case out today for trial. As everybody is aware, these criminal proceedings go on and while that happens the defendant's life is put on hold, and we feel four months is far too long a period of time to put a person like Cuba's life on hold."

In a statement to ET on Monday, Heller said they plan to ask the court to throw both cases out. As ET previously reported, the Oscar winner was arrested and charged with forcible touching in June and turned himself in to the Manhattan Special Victims Unit. Gooding is accused of groping a woman at a bar in New York City. He has maintained his innocence and has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Heller told ET that they believe the second case against Gooding is "even less credible than the first case," and claimed "after Cuba was arrested over 120 days ago, a rep of the second accuser thought to seek a payment from Cuba and he declined to be shaken down. At that point, she moved forward to establish this second charge and it was presented to the grand jury."
"We believe the prosecutor is trying to besmirch the reputation of Cuba, a beloved Bronx native, and trying to establish these charges, which will result in an outrage by the public by wasting time and resources and energy of the court that have no place in the criminal court system," Heller said, adding that they plan to enter a plea of not guilty in court on Tuesday.


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