Cuba Gooding Jr. Agrees To No-Jail Plea Deal In Sexual Misconduct Case
Actor Cuba Gooding Jr. has finalized a no-jail plea deal with prosecutors in the Manhattan Supreme Court years after he was first arrested for charges related to the sexual abuse of several women.
Gooding pleaded guilty to one count of misdemeanor forcible touching in relation to kissing a woman without her consent in an Upper East Side nightclub. He also publicly apologized to two other women he touched inappropriately, a woman whose breast he squeezed at the Moxie Hotel, and a sever at TAO Downtown that received unwanted attention at work when Gooding pinched her rear.
He even has a chance to get the charges dropped. If Gooding stays on good behavior and continues attending therapy for six months, his misdemeanor charge will be reduced to a violation that wouldn’t appear on a criminal record.
This softer judgment on Gooding is not what he was initially expecting when legally sparring with Manhattan’s previous DA Cyrus Vance Jr. Prosecutors were initially unwilling to accept any deal that didn’t involve jail time. After turnovers both on Gooding’s legal team, and in the DA’s office with Alvin Bragg taking the job, they reached this new agreement with the help of new attorney Frank Rothman.
Assistant DA Coleen Balbert said the prosecution decided on the more lax agreement in order to prevent his victims from having to testify in court. According to Balbert, there were as many as 19 accusers of Gooding at one point but their testimonies did not motivate pursuing further charges. They may have attempted to solicit testimonies of two other women, but Judge Curtis Farber reversed his ruling to allow them to speak in court.
The actor’s career has largely stalled in the wake of his arrest and trial, with his most recent notable performance being his Emmy-nominated portrayal of O.J. Simpson in the first season of American Crime Story back in 2016. This wasn’t helped by the fact that his court dates were frequently pushed back due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Gooding will be returning to court on October 13 to evaluate his behavior.