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Cuba Gooding Jr. pleads guilty to forcible touch after years of denial

by Ezekiel J. Walker
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Cuba Gooding Jr. pleaded guilty on Wednesday to resolve his forcible touching and sex assault case in Manhattan, where prosecutors accused him of groping three different women, per ABC News. 

The Oscar-winning actor entered a plea of guilty to a misdemeanor charge of forcibly touching a woman at a New York City nightclub in 2018. The trial was originally set to take place during 2020, however, the pandemic caused significant court delays that pushed his trial to yesterday.

Cuba Gooding Jr. has a history of damning allegations.

Gooding’s case first began in June 2019 when the actor was charged with forcible touching and an additional charge was brought against him in October 2019.

Gooding, 54, was arrested in June 2019 after a 29-year-old woman said he squeezed her breast at the Magic Hour Rooftop Bar & Lounge in Times Square.

Per ABC News, Cuba Gooding Jr. 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, which he had previously denied.

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.

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, Gooding could face up to one year in jail.

In August 2020, Manhattan prosecutors counted at least 30 women who had come forward with accusations of unwanted touching by the  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 re-offend.

Until now, Cuba Gooding Jr. had denied all charges, contending he was unfairly tarnished in the era of #MeToo.

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