12 Accusers Could Testify in Cuba Gooding Jr. Sex Misconduct Trial - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

12 Accusers Could Testify in Cuba Gooding Jr. Sex Misconduct Trial

Up to a dozen accusers could testify at the sexual misconduct trial of the actor, a Manhattan prosecutor said

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Cuba Gooding Pleads Not Guilty to Sex Misconduct Charge

    As the actor faces new accusations in his sexual misconduct trial, prosecutors say up to a dozen could testify about they claim is a pattern of abuse that spans from NYC to the West Coast. NBC New York’s Ida Siegal reports.

    (Published Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019)

    Up to a dozen accusers could testify at the sexual misconduct trial of Cuba Gooding Jr., a Manhattan prosecutor said Tuesday.

    Prosecutor Jenna Long made the comment as the actor pleaded not guilty to an indictment alleging two instances of sexual misconduct.

    Gooding appeared Tuesday before a judge in New York City and was released on his own recognizance.

    The allegations from the 12 other women range from 2001 to 2018 and all involve allegations he touched or grabbed women at bars, hotels or restaurants. Prosecutors said several of the alleged incidents happened in New York or the Los Angeles area. Others are said to have occurred in Las Vegas, Dallas and Albuquerque, New Mexico.

    The 51-year-old "Jerry Maguire" star was previously accused of groping a woman's breast at a bar on June 9. The woman told police she believed Gooding was intoxicated.

    The defense has said there are two witnesses who say it never happened and a bar video that backs up that claim.

    Gooding's attorney Mark Heller said outside court that he is "shocked, outraged and absolutely dumbfounded."

    However, ahead of his client's court appearance, Heller also made a brief statement stressing Gooding's innocence.

    "We are completely confident that there will be no criminal conviction of Cuba Gooding Jr," Heller said. "Cuba Gooding Jr. is certainly innocent of the allegations that will be presented today before the court. And we are going ask that the court send this case out today for trial." 

    Although Heller did not provide information about the new allegations, he went on to say that his client turned himself in to police earlier in the morning and also had a meeting with the district attorney. Additionally, Heller said Gooding wants a trial to proceed immediately.

    "These criminal proceedings go on and while that happens a defendant's life is put on hold and we feel four months is far too long a period of time to put a person's life like Cuba's on hold," Heller said. "We look forward today to being aggressive in court, asking them to proceed immediately to trial."

    Heller concluded his brief statement by saying: "We are confident there will be no evidence to support the indictment."

    The actor is accused of placing his hand on a 29-year-old woman's breast and squeezing it without her consent at Magic Hour Rooftop Bar & Lounge near Times Square on June 9. The woman told police she believed Gooding was intoxicated.

    Gooding was arrested four days later after turning himself in to police. He pleaded not guilty to forcible touching and sexual abuse charges and was released on his own recognizance.

    He later requested to have his case thrown out, but he was rejected.

    The defense had filed papers saying the misdemeanor forcible touching case should be dismissed based on accounts of two witnesses who say it never happened, and that video from the bar backs up that claim. The papers argued that since there was clear evidence that no crime was committed, it was necessary to throw out the case to protect the integrity of the criminal justice system.

    The judge ruled that the conflicting accounts should be resolved at trial.

    Gooding faces up to a year in jail if convicted.