Cuba Gooding Jr. faces February trial in NYC groping case

Oct 18, 2021, 8:04 AM | Updated: 8:11 am

NEW YORK (AP) — 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.

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.

“I want to lock this down for trial,” Farber said at a hearing in state court in Manhattan. “This case has been on my calendar for two years, going on three years.”

“If I give you a firm date, I don’t want to hear that the case in the Bronx didn’t go and the judge adjourned it to February,” the exasperated judge said. “That’s not going to fly with me.”

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.

He has pleaded not guilty and denies all allegations of wrongdoing. His lawyers have argued that overzealous prosecutors, caught up in the fervor of the #MeToo movement, are trying to turn “commonplace gestures” or misunderstandings into crimes.

For example, Gooding’s lawyers say video of the TAO incident shows Gooding tapping the woman on the back with a fingernail and turning around to give her a high-five to say goodbye as he leaves the club around 4:30 a.m.

Prosecutors made arrangements for Toumbekis and Gooding to see video of the LAVO New York episode, which the lawyer said he’d been prevented from doing because of COVID-19 restrictions at the Manhattan district attorney’s office.

Gooding, in a dark suit, tie and face mask, waited on a bench in the courtroom gallery while Farber attended to two other cases before the star’s case was called.

Gooding didn’t speak during the hearing. As he was leaving court, he gave a thumbs up to a man in the hallway who called out his name.

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. After a judge issued a default judgment in July because Gooding hadn’t responded to the lawsuit, the actor retained a lawyer who indicated they would fight it.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Halyna Borysenko waits to milk cows at the KramAgroSvit dairy farm in Dmytrivka, Donetsk region, ea...
Associated Press

Dairy farm in Ukraine’s Donbas region struggles to survive

DMYTRIVKA, Ukraine (AP) — One of the last working dairy farms on Ukrainian-controlled territory in the eastern Donbas region is doing everything it can to stay afloat in a place where neither workers nor animals are safe from Russia’s devastating war. Only around 200 head of cattle remain of the nearly 1,300 kept at the […]
1 day ago
Sara, a 14-year-old, an Afghan girl, sits on a grave and reads a book as she waits for customers to...
Associated Press

Afghan girls face uncertain future after 1 year of no school

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — For most teenage girls in Afghanistan, it’s been a year since they set foot in a classroom. With no sign the ruling Taliban will allow them back to school, some are trying to find ways to keep education from stalling for a generation of young women. At a house in Kabul, […]
1 day ago
FILE - People walk outside the U.S Capitol building in Washington, June 9, 2022. The biggest invest...
Associated Press

In Biden’s big bill: Climate, health care, deficit reduction

WASHINGTON (AP) — The biggest investment ever in the U.S. to fight climate change. A hard-fought cap on out-of-pocket prescription drug costs for seniors in the Medicare program. A new corporate minimum tax to ensure big businesses pay their share. And billions left over to pay down federal deficits. All told, the Democrats’ “Inflation Reduction […]
1 day ago
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, A...
Associated Press

House Dems set to overcome GOP for climate, health care win

WASHINGTON (AP) — A flagship Democratic economic bill perched on the edge of House passage Friday, placing President Joe Biden on the brink of a back-from-the-dead triumph on his climate, health and tax goals that could energize his party ahead of November’s elections. Democrats were poised to muscle the measure through the narrowly divided House […]
1 day ago
FILE - Pennsylvania Lt. Governor John Fetterman, the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate in Pennsy...
Associated Press

Fetterman plans ‘raw’ remarks in return to PA Senate race

ERIE, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania Senate candidate John Fetterman is expected to open up about his personal health challenges as he officially returns to the campaign trail Friday, more than 90 days after the Democrat suffered a stroke that threatened his life and political prospects in one of the nation’s premier Senate contests. Fetterman will […]
1 day ago
Congress party leader Rahul Gandhi, center in blue mask, and other lawmakers participate in a prote...
Associated Press

At 75, India’s democracy is under pressure like never before

NEW DELHI (AP) — The Aug. 5 demonstrations by India’s main opposition Congress party against soaring food prices and unemployment began like any other recent protest — an electorally weak opposition taking to the New Delhi streets against Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s massively popular government. The protests, however, quickly took a turn when key Congress […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Here are 4 signs the HVAC unit needs to be replaced

Pool renovations and kitchen upgrades may seem enticing, but at the forefront of these investments arguably should be what residents use the most. In a state where summertime is sweltering, access to a functioning HVAC unit can be critical.
...
Mayo Clinic Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

Why your student-athlete’s physical should be conducted by a sports medicine specialist

Dr. Anastasi from Mayo Clinic Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in Tempe answers some of the most common questions.
...
Dr. Richard Carmona

Great news: Children under 5 can now get COVID-19 vaccine

After more than two years of battle with an invisible killer, we can now vaccinate the youngest among us against COVID-19. This is great news.
Cuba Gooding Jr. faces February trial in NYC groping case