Cuba Gooding Jr. Pleads Not Guilty to Third Sexual Abuse Accuser

Cuba_Gooding_Jr_01_18.jpg

Cuba Gooding Jr. has pleaded not guilty to new charges of forcible touching and sexual abuse in the third degree in his sexual misconduct case in New York City. This is the third time he has been charged with sexual misconduct.

Prosecutors Thursday said that several other women had contacted them to testify against the 51-year-old Oscar winner. They said they intend to have up to a dozen women testify against the star to establish a pattern of unwanted touching. 

Gooding was arrested in June for allegedly grabbing a 29-year-old woman’s breast at a bar in NYC without her consent. Later, he was accused of pinching another woman’s buttocks at a club in NYC in October of 2018. TMZ acquired footage of the October incident.

The footage shows that Gooding’s hand made contact with accuser Natasha Ashworth’s backside, but it is unclear if it was a pinch. After the touch, Ashworth responds negatively and two can be seen having a tense conversation. 

In response to the clip, the Fighting Temptations star's attorney, Mark Jay Heller, said, "This is a bogus butt grope claim. The video proves Cuba is innocent beyond a reasonable doubt."

he D.A.'s office released a statement saying, "We’ve provided defense counsel a short clip from one of the incidents and, within 24 hours, that video had been released to the media."

It continues, "We feel that the release is inappropriate and an effort to taint the jury pool. The video released was also incomplete and only shows conduct from immediately after the charged incident."

Gooding has pleaded not guilty to all charges against him. Judge Curtis Farber will rule in December on whether or not women who have not officially charged Gooding can take the stand and testify. 

Both sides are due in court Jan. 2, 2020.