NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Cuba Gooding Jr. pleaded not guilty after being charged with a misdemeanor count of forcible touching Thursday night.
The plea came after Gooding surrendered to face charges for allegedly groping a woman in Manhattan.
He’s been fingerprinted and had a mug shot taken.
Web Extra: Cuba Gooding, Jr. Surrenders
“In my 50 years, almost, of practicing law I have never seen a case like this one because there’s not a scintilla of criminal culpability that can be attributed to Mr. Cuba Gooding, Jr. After I have extensively with my staff reviewed the video of almost two hours which reflects the entire event for which we are here today. Mr. Gooding has not acted inappropriately in any shape or form, nothing in the video could even be considered ambiguous. And I am frankly shocked and horrified that this case is being prosecuted,” Heller said. “As you may know, originally we were not sure if we were going to surrender here, because I believed that after the district attorney’s office reviewed the video, and saw that he was not culpable of any criminal conduct, that they would decline to prosecute.”
Heller said the alleged forcible touching “never, ever happened.”
Heller said they intend to enter a not guilty plea.
Web Extra: Cuba Gooding, Jr.’s Attorney Mark Heller Speaks Out
“All I ask of you is that you judge for yourself. Look at the video and make your own choice rather than relying on the overzealous policing in this matter,” Heller said. “I am completely confident that he will be totally exonerated and I would not be at all surprised if, at the conclusion Mr. Gooding’s proceedings, a criminal charge is lodged against the lady who’s alleging that she was abused and that she’s charged with perjury.”
Heller said the alleged victim “was unfortunately stalking him, and following him around. And he was polite, but ultimately they were told to please, you know, leave them alone and give them privacy. And at that moment that individual must’ve been unhappy about being rebuffed and apparently went and made this false complaint.”
Gooding smiled and said nothing when arrived to turn himself in.
A 29-year-old woman told police the actor inappropriately touched her breasts on Sunday night at the Magic Hour Rooftop Bar and Lounge of Seventh Avenue in Midtown. When she protested, the two allegedly got into an argument.
Police said the woman left the bar and later called 911.
Sources tell CBS2 a second woman has come forward to accuse the actor of groping her backside 11 years ago inside Butter on 45th Street.
“We heard that somebody sort of came out of the woodwork and alleged there was a touching of her derriere over a decade ago, 12 years ago. I spoke to Cuba, he has no knowledge of it,” Heller said.
In an interview with TMZ, Gooding denied the recent allegation.
“There’s a tape that shows what really happened. That’s the most important thing,” he said. “I met a bunch of people, I said hello, I took pictures. And you have to have faith in what people say.”
When asked “was there any groping involved,” he replied, “nothing.”