Cuba Gooding Jr. is set to stand trial in New York City after multiple women have accused him of inappropriate behavior. According to ABC News, the actor will face a judge on February 1, 2022, in a criminal groping trial in which he is accused of violating three different women at three different Manhattan clubs in 2018 and 2019.
Judge Curtis Farber had hoped to begin the trial in December. However, Gooding Jr.’s attorney Peter Toumbekis revealed the award-winning actor will be on trial in the Bronx at that time.
“This case has been on my calendar for two years, going on three years,” Farber stated. “If I give you a firm date, I don’t want to hear that the case in the Bronx didn’t go and the judge adjourned it to February.” The Fighting Temptations star has had the case delayed from the original date of April 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The judge added, “That’s not going to fly with me.”
In June 2019, Gooding Jr. surrendered to the New York Police Department Manhattan Special Victim’s Unit. That same month, Instagram influencer and podcast host Claudia Oshry publicly claimed the actor sexually assaulted her at a nightclub when she was underaged.
Gooding Jr.’s lawyer Mark Heller responded to the allegations by asserting, “Cuba says this incident never happened and he has no recollection of this individual either.”
In October 2019, he entered a plea of not guilty on four misdemeanor counts of forcible touching and third-degree sexual abuse. The claims date back to 2001 and allegedly happened in multiple cities from New York to Las Vegas and Dallas. Prosecutor Jenna Long presented 12 allegations from 12 different women who claimed to have been groped, bit or pinched by Gooding Jr in an intimate area.
During the hearing on Monday (Oct. 18), Gooding Jr. did not speak. He and his legal team are defending his actions by claiming the prosecution is caught in the hype of the #MeToo movement and attempting to turn “commonplace gestures” or misunderstandings into criminal behavior.
His lawyers claim video of the incident at TAO in 2018 shows him tapping his accuser on the back before giving her a high-five and exiting the venue. The prosecution is attempting to call 19 accusors as witnesses in the trial despite some claims not resulting in criminal charges.
Gooding Jr. is charged with six misdemeanor counts that could land him in jail if he is convicted. In addition to the criminal trial, he also is accused in a lawsuit of raping a woman in New York City in 2013. A judge issued a default judgment in July because Gooding did not initially respond to the lawsuit yet the actor has retained a lawyer on the matter.