NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Actor Cuba Gooding, Jr. returned to a Manhattan court to face misdemeanor sex abuse charges.

His legal team wanted those charges dismissed however, the judge in the case ruled Thursday that the case should be heard in court and rejected the request.

The Oscar winner is accused of groping a 29-year-old woman back on June 9 at a bar near Times Square. Authorities say the woman filed a police report claiming Gooding grabbed her breast.

The woman told police she argued with Gooding about the encounter and then left the bar and called 911.

Gooding denied the claim but voluntarily surrendered to police for questioning and pleaded not guilty to forcible touching charges.

Gooding’s lawyer says security footage taken at the club proves no wrongdoing and is seeking to have the case dismissed. Attorney Mark Heller called the alleged victim troubled.

“In my view, the prosecutor is attempting to delay and drag this out. We have facilitated the prosecutor interviewing the two eyewitnesses whose statements will not be disputed by anybody. We have the video, which clearly shows that no crime was committed,” Heller said. “We have a retired detective who was with the special crime victims for six years that actually arrested Cuba who has given us a sworn affidavit that he has reviewed the video frame by frame and does not believe that there is any basis whatsoever for a criminal charge against Cuba.”

The victim’s attorney was not available for comment.

When asked how he was feeling, Gooding gave a thumbs up and said “Great.”

The Manhattan DA’s office did not comment.

A conviction in the case could put the 51-year-old star behind bars for up to a year.


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