Cuba Gooding Jr. pleads guilty to forcible touch

(CNN)Actor Cuba Gooding Jr. entered a plea of guilty on Wednesday to a misdemeanor charge of forcibly touching a woman at a New York City nightclub in 2018.

Cuba Gooding Jr. pleads guilty to forcible touch
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Gooding admitted to kissing the woman, a waitress at the club, on her lips without consent. He also admitted to two other incidents of non-consensual contact in October 2018 and June 2019.
Under the terms of the plea agreement, Gooding is to continue alcohol and behavior modification treatment for six months and have no new arrests. After that time, he can re-plead to harassment.
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If he successfully follows the terms and re-pleads to the lesser charge, Gooding can face a sentence to time served. If he does not comply with the terms, he could face up to one year in jail.
“Cuba Gooding Jr. entered into a re-pleader today whereby in six months his case will be disposed of with a violation, which is not a crime, resulting in no criminal record,” Gooding’s attorney, Peter Toumbekis, said in a statement to CNN.
The delay-ridden case against Gooding first began in June 2019 when the actor was charged with forcible touching.
An additional charge was brought against him in October 2019.
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He’d previously pleaded not guilty to those charges.
Gooding’s lawyers at one point filed a motion to dismiss the case but it was denied.
Gooding’s trial was set to begin in April 2020 but was delayed because of lockdowns due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In August 2020, Manhattan prosecutors said that at least 30 women had come forward with accusations of unwanted touching by the Oscar-winning actor.
Assistant district attorney Coleen Balbert said in court on Wednesday that Gooding has been in counseling since September 2019 to address behavior he engaged in and to ensure he doesn’t reoffend.

Three years after he was arrested, Oscar-winning actor Cuba Gooding Jr. has pleaded guilty to forcibly touching a woman. He had been accused by several women of sexually groping them in various nightclubs and restaurants in 2018 and 2019.

In pleading guilty in one case, Gooding told the New York State Supreme Court judge he “kissed the waitress on the lips” without her consent. Gooding had previously pleaded not guilty.

The plea deal says he will be sentenced to get counseling but not to do jail time, according to the Associated Press. The report says he will be able to get his conviction reduced to a lesser violation if he complies with terms of the deal.

He pleaded guilty to allegations by one woman but the court had ruled that prosecutors could call two other women to testify against him. They were among 19 accusers that prosecutors said could talk about other alleged incidents. According to the AP, “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.”

In addition to the criminal case, Gooding has been accused in a civil lawsuit of raping a woman in New York in 2013. In July, after Gooding didn’t respond to the lawsuit, a judge issued a default judgment. The actor has hired an attorney to fight that allegation, according to the AP.

SOURCEedition.cnn
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