NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – Cuba Gooding Jr. appeared in a Manhattan court Thursday morning to stand trial on groping charges.
Prosecutors said the charges relate to an alleged incident in June, as well as a previously uncharged incident. Details of that additional incident were not disclosed.
The case was adjourned until next Tuesday.
“It has been 118 days since Cuba’s arrest. The district attorney has compiled hundreds of pages of what is clearly non-incriminating, irrelevant material, conducted an excess of 7 interviews, compiled over 2,500 non-incriminating videos and initiated forensic tests of the accuser’s dress which contain a mixture of four different DNAs. However, absolutely none of the material that they have put together in the last 118 days is at all incriminating Cuba Gooding, Jr. for any crime whatsoever. Clearly their indictment today is a technique they use as a stalling technique to somehow gain more time and try to develop the case further,” said Gooding’s attorney Mark Heller. “Clearly the only relevant evidence is the brief three second video which was released months ago. We are completely confident that this is a stalling tactic and they’re not going to have anything that will stand up to an actual trial. This is the only thing they could do to stall this any longer because they would have been ordered to move forward with a trial and they have nothing incriminating to charge Mr. Gooding, Jr. with.”
The actor’s trial was postponed in September after prosecutors said they were still waiting for evidence in the case. His attorneys argued against the delay.
Gooding, 51, is accused of squeezing a 29-year-old woman’s breast without her consent on June 9 at Magic Hour Rooftop Bar & Lounge near Times Square.
The woman told police she believed he was intoxicated.
Gooding was arrested four days later after turning himself in to police. He pleaded not guilty to forcible touching and sexual abuse charges and was released on his own recognizance.
The actor later requested to have the case thrown out, but was rejected.
His defense had filed papers saying the case should be dismissed based on accounts from two witnesses who said it never happened and video from the bar backed up their claims.
The judge ruled the conflicting accounts should be resolved at trial.
If convicted, Gooding faces up to a year in jail.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)