NEW YORK — Cuba Gooding Jr. is due in court Wednesday on charges of misdemeanor forcible touching and sex abuse in the third degree relating to an alleged groping incident this month in New York City.
Gooding voluntarily surrendered for questioning after the alleged incident and pleaded not guilty to the charges in a Manhattan court. He was released on his own recognizance after the judge set the next court date.
Gooding has cooperated with police and expects to be fully exonerated, his attorney Mark Heller said.
“In my 50 years, almost, of practicing law, I have never seen a case like this one because there is not a scintilla of criminal culpability that can be attributed to Mr. Cuba Gooding Jr. after I have extensively, with my staff, reviewed the video of almost two hours … ” Heller told reporters.
“Mr. Gooding has not acted inappropriately in any shape or form. Nothing in the video could even be considered ambiguous and I, frankly, am shocked and horrified that this case is being prosecuted,” he said.
NYPD met with the Oscar winner after a 29-year-old woman filed a police report claiming he grabbed her breast at Magic Hour Rooftop Bar & Lounge in Manhattan.
Gooding has denied the claim.
The woman in the alleged incident told police she was with friends when she was confronted by a male patron whom she described as Gooding, a law enforcement source told CNN.
“The male allegedly groped her breasts,” the source said. “The victim later told cops she protested at the unwanted touching and they argued about the encounter.”
The woman left the bar and called 911 to report the alleged incident, the law enforcement source said. NYPD Manhattan Special Victims Squad investigated.