Cuba Gooding Jr. Pleads Guilty to Forcible Touching
Actor Cuba Gooding Jr. has plead guilty to one count of forcible touching stemming from an incident at a New York City night club in 2018.
Gooding's lawyer has been trying to get the charges reduced or dismissed, which is why this is just now happening even though it's been nearly three years since his arrest.
He has been accused of violating three different women in different Manhattan night spots in 2018 and 2019. He has plead guilty to one of the allegations. He told the judge that he "kissed the waitress on the lips" without her consent at the LAVO New York nightclub.
His plea deal calls for no jail time, and he will be able to withdraw the misdemeanor plea and plead guilty to a lesser violation of harassment if he continues counseling for six months.
Gooding was arrested in June 2019 after a 29-year-old woman told police that he squeezed her breast without her consent at the Magic Hour Rooftop Bar & Lounge near Times Square.
In the video below, you see Gooding and his girlfriend Claudine De Niro sitting against the window when the accuser sits down with Claudine between Gooding and her. He then reaches over and touches her leg, before it appears that he touches her breast.
A few months later, more women came forward to accuse him of abuse, and he was charged in two additional cases. The new charges alleged he pinched a server’s buttocks after making a sexually suggestive remark to her at TAO Downtown, and forcibly touched a woman inappropriately at the LAVO nightclub, both of which allegedly occurred in 2018.
Previously, Gooding had pleaded not guilty to six misdemeanor counts and denied all allegations of wrongdoing. His lawyers argued that overzealous prosecutors, caught up in the fervor of the #MeToo movement, are trying to turn “commonplace gestures” or misunderstandings into crimes.
The judge ruled that had the case gone to trial, two other women would be allowed to testify about their allegations of Gooding violating them. Those two women, who's claims did not result in criminal charges, were among 19 other accusers whom prosecutors were seeking to call as witnesses.
This isn't the only case that Gooding is dealing with. He is accused in a lawsuit of raping a woman in New York City in 2013. He has retained a lawyer and is fighting the allegations after a judge issued a default judgment in July because Gooding hadn’t responded to the lawsuit.