Cuba Gooding Jr. Hit With New Charge as His NYC Trial on Groping Charges Was Set to Open

Cuba Gooding Jr. appears in a New York courtroom Oct. 10, 2019.
Photo: Steven Hirsch (New York Post via AP, Pool)

On what was to have been the first day of Cuba Gooding Jr.’s trial on charges he groped a woman’s breast without consent, prosecutors had the proceedings delayed after announcing Thursday that the actor has been indicted on a second charge.

According to the New York Times, prosecutors did not provide details on the second charge, except to say that instead of Gooding’s case being heard in Criminal Court, it would now be heard in state Supreme Court, where more serious crimes are usually adjudicated.

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An attorney for Gooding, famed for his starring roles in Boyz N the Hood and The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, told the Times the prosecutors’ move should be seen as a delay tactic for a weak case:

In the months since Mr. Gooding was arrested, Mr. Heller said, prosecutors have conducted several interviews, reviewed videos and completed a DNA test on the accuser’s dress.

“All this to support a three-second video that did not reveal Cuba committing any crime,” he said. “Rather than be embarrassed and answer that they were not ready today, they simply used the technique of moving this through an indictment in the Supreme Court.”

In June, a woman reported to police that during a night out at a luxe New York City bar, Gooding groped her breast and squeezed it without her consent. Gooding turned himself in to police and was charged with misdemeanor sexual abuse and forcible touching.

Gooding faced up to a year in jail if convicted on the initial charges. But it’s unclear what the new indictment entails. Prosecutors say they’ll release details next week.

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However, as the Times explains:

At the time of Mr. Gooding’s arrest, the police said they were investigating a second groping allegation against him in connection with an episode that occurred several years ago. The police said the woman in that case came forward after seeing news reports about the June incident. It is unclear whether the new charge was related to this allegation.

Mr. Gooding is scheduled to appear in court again on Tuesday.

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