Cuba Gooding Jr. has pleaded not guilty to additional sexual misconduct charges.
According to Reuters, the 51-year-old actor was accused of groping a woman’s buttocks at Manhattan’s Tao nightclub last October. He was also accused of groping a woman’s breasts at Manhattan’s Magic Hour Rooftop Bar back in June.
Gooding is facing one count of forcible touching and one count of sexual abuse. Each count is a misdemeanor. According to People, Gooding turned himself in to NYPD on Tuesday, for the second time regarding a sexual misconduct charge.
“The NYPD takes sexual assault and rape cases extremely seriously, and urges anyone who has been a victim to file a police report so we can perform a comprehensive investigation, and offer support and services to survivors,” Sergeant Jessica McRorie, a spokeswoman for the NYPD Deputy Commissioner told People.
Prosecutors said at a hearing in Manhattan Supreme Court on Tuesday that they hope to establish a pattern of behavior at Gooding’s trial using testimony from 12 additional women who have said they were subjected to unwanted touching and advances by the actor in bars and clubs. No criminal charges have been brought in connection with those women.
Mark Heller, Gooding’s attorney, told reporters outside the courthouse on Tuesday that he would seek to have the two alleged groping incidents tried separately. Heller expressed confidence that his client would not be convicted, and said prosecutors had brought the new indictment because they were not ready to go to trial with their original case.
“There is no proof of any criminal conduct on Cuba’s part,” Heller told People in a statement.
At the time of this article’s posting, five women in total have brought sexual misconduct charges against the actor.
Because of the additional charges, Gooding’s trial on the original charges, scheduled for today (October 17), will be delayed. There hasn’t been a new trial date set at this time.