Cuba Gooding Jr. appeared in a New York court Tuesday for his arraignment where he plead not guilty to two instances of sexual misconduct. The new charges involve an alleged incident in October 2018, according to the 4-count indictment.
Gooding, 51, has been awaiting trial as he was previously charged with third-degree misdemeanor sexual abuse and forcible touching. As previously reported, a 29-year-old woman claimed the intoxicated actor groped her breast at a Manhattan bar on June 9. He plead not guilty and has denied any wrongdoing.
Last week, prosecutors announced new charges had been filed from a second incident. According to the indictment, Gooding “pinched the buttocks of a woman, without her consent” on Oct. 24, 2018 at Tao downtown nightclub in New York City. He has been charged again with third-degree misdemeanor sexual abuse and forcible touching.
On Tuesday, prosecutors also revealed 12 other alleged incidents of groping, sexual abuse and/or inappropriate conduct in an attempt to show a pattern of behavior. The incidents, all uncharged, range from 2001 to 2018 in New York, California, Texas, Nevada and New Mexico occurring at bars, clubs, hotels and restaurants. One woman alleges the Oscar-winning actor “touched her vagina over her underwear without consent” in Malibu, Calif. in 2014. Another woman claimed Gooding bit her shoulder at a bar in 2006. While prosecutors cannot file charges against Gooding based on the alleged incidents, they want the “uncharged bad acts” admissible to “show his bad character or criminal propensity.”
Prosecutors believe the incidents refute any claim by Gooding’s defense team that the actor’s behavior in June or October 2018 was accidental or consensual. The 12 women are apparently willing to testify.
Gooding’s lawyer Mark Heller said outside court Tuesday that he is “shocked, outraged and absolutely dumbfounded.” Heller claimed prosecutors are short on evidence from the initial incident, which is why they filed additional charges.
Although Gooding was handcuffed during his arraignment after being booked on the new charges, he was released on his own recognizance. The actor’s next court date is Dec. 13.
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