Cuba Gooding Jr. charged with forcible touching as second groping allegation emerges

A second woman filed a report with police Monday alleging that Gooding Jr. grabbed her butt inside of a Manhattan club more than 10 years ago.
Image: Cuba Gooding Jr. arrives at the NYPD Special Victim's Unit on June 13, 2019.
Cuba Gooding Jr. arrives at the NYPD Special Victim's Unit on June 13, 2019.Mark Lennihan / AP

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By Doha Madani

Cuba Gooding Jr. was charged with forcible touching, a misdemeanor, in New York City on Thursday as a second woman has come forward accusing the actor of groping her more than 10 years ago.

Gooding Jr., 51, turned himself in to authorities after a first woman filed a police report claiming she was at the Magic Hour Rooftop Bar and Lounge near Times Square on Sunday night when Gooding Jr. allegedly touched her breasts.

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The Oscar-winning actor appeared in Manhattan Criminal Court on Thursday in handcuffs. His lawyer, Mark Heller, entered a plea on his behalf of not guilty to two charges, including forcible touching and sex abuse in the third degree. Gooding Jr. was then released on his own recognizance.

A second woman filed a report with police Monday alleging that Gooding Jr. grabbed her butt inside of a Manhattan club shortly after midnight on March 1, 2008, the New York City Police Department confirmed Thursday.

Heller told NBCNews that after watching several hours of video from the Manhattan bar early Sunday, he found “no criminality on tape.” The attorney spoke to reporters outside the NYPD precinct Thursday and briefly mentioned the second allegation.

"We heard that somebody sorta came out of the woodwork and alleged there was a touching of her derriere," Heller said. "I have no belief that this will go any further because there's a two year statute of limitation."

Heller also said he was "shocked and horrified" that the prosecutors were choosing to pursue charges against his client. The attorney also said Gooding Jr. was a "very friendly, frisky type of fella."

"It's very unfortunate and we are all very sympathetic to people that are victims and that are abused, but what is also extremely disturbing is when someone who comes forward and alleges abuse was not abused," Heller said. "Which I think was the case here."

As Gooding Jr. left the courthouse on Thursday, he would only tell reporters, "Get well Big Papi," referencing the former Boston Red Sox star who was nearly shot to death in the Dominican Republic.