Academy Award winner Cuba Gooding Jr . pleaded guilty to one count of violent touching in a long-running criminal case in which the actor was accused of molesting three different women at various nightclubs in Manhattan in 2018 and 2019.
The only guilty plea came nearly three years after Gooding’s arrest in a case that had been delayed several times as his lawyers tried to mitigate or drop the charges.
The case was scheduled to go to trial at least twice, but the April 2020 trial date was pushed back due to a surge in New York City coronavirus cases, with most courts closed.
Note that Gooding Jr. previously pleaded not guilty to six counts. His lawyers argued that overzealous prosecutors, caught up in the fervor of the #MeToo movement, were trying to turn “banal gestures” or misunderstandings into crimes.
The judge ruled that if the case of Gooding Jr. goes to court, prosecutors could call two more women to testify about their allegations that the actor also violated their right to immunity. These women, whose allegations did not lead to criminal proceedings, were among 19 other accusers whom prosecutors tried to call as witnesses.