A judge decided that the actor would face trial in February
Cuba Gooding Jr. will go to trial in February in her New York City groping case, a judge said on Monday, as prosecutors plan to portray the actor as a serial criminal and the defense defending the case is a part of the #MeToo run amok. Example is.
Judge Curtis Farber set a hearing for February 1 in the case, which includes allegations that the Oscar-winning “Jerry Maguire” star infringed on three different women at three different night spots in Manhattan in 2018 and 2019.
One of the women alleged that Gooding pinched her buttocks. Another said that he squeezed her breast.
Farber had expressed a desire to begin the trial as soon as possible, possibly in December, but Gooding’s attorney, Peter Tumbeckis, said he would then tie up with the trial in the Bronx.
“I want to put it off for trial,” Farber said during a hearing in state court in Manhattan. “This case has been on my calendar for two years, going on for three years.”
“If I give you a fixed date, I don’t want to hear that the case in the Bronx didn’t go on and the judge adjourned it to February,” said the angry judge. “It’s not going to fly with me.”
Gooding was to go to trial in April 2020, but New York’s coronavirus cases surged and the state closed most court cases.
Gooding was arrested in June 2019 after a 29-year-old woman told police she squeezed her breast without her consent at the Magic Hour Rooftop Bar & Lounge near Times Square.
A few months later, Gooding was charged with two additional incidents as more women came forward to accuse him of abuse.
He was accused in 2018 of making sexually suggestive remarks at TAO Downtown and pinching the buttocks of a server after forcibly inappropriately touching a woman at a LaVo New York nightclub.
In all, Gooding, 53, is charged with six misdemeanors that could land him in prison if convicted.
He has pleaded not guilty and has denied all allegations of wrongdoing. Their lawyers have argued that overzealous prosecutors, caught up in the fervor of the #MeToo movement, are trying to turn “normal gestures” or misogyny into crimes.
For example, Gooding’s lawyers say that video of the TAO incident showed Gooding tapping the woman on the back with a nail and turning around to give her a high-five to say goodbye as she left early in the morning. Leaves the club at 4:30.
Prosecutors arranged for Toumbekis and Gooding to watch video of the LAVO New York episode, which attorneys said was prevented from doing so 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 two other cases before Starr’s case was called.
Gooding did not say anything during the hearing. As he was leaving the courtroom, he gave a thumbs up to a man in the hall who called his name.
Farber previously ruled that prosecutors could call two additional women to testify about their allegations that Gooding also violated them. The women, whose claims did not lead to criminal charges, were among 19 other accused prosecutors were seeking to call as witnesses.
In addition to the criminal case, Gooding has been charged with the 2013 rape trial of a woman in New York City. After a judge issued a default ruling in July because Gooding had not responded to the lawsuit, the actor retained a lawyer who indicated he would fight it.