Cuba Gooding Jr. pleads not guilty in third case of alleged groping

The 51-year-old Oscar winner has already pleaded not guilty two counts of forcible touching and two counts of third-degree sexual abuse.

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By Doha Madani

Cuba Gooding Jr. pleaded not guilty in court Thursday after the Manhattan District Attorney brought a third case against the actor for groping allegations.

Gooding Jr., 51, has already pleaded not guilty two counts of forcible touching and two counts of third-degree sexual abuse. Another dozen women also accused the actor of either inappropriately touching them or kissing them, according to court documents released earlier this month.

The district attorney's office did not detail the new allegations against Gooding Jr. in court, but an indictment released Thursday refers to an alleged incident that occurred on Sept. 9 or Sept. 10, 2018.

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Gooding Jr. "intentionally, and for no legitimate purpose, forcibly touched the sexual and other intimate parts" of a woman for the purpose of gratifying his sexual desire, the court document said.

The actor, who starred in such films as "Jerry McGuire" and "Snow Dogs," was first charged in June after a woman filed a police report claiming she was at the Magic Hour Rooftop Bar and Lounge near Times Square when Gooding placed his hand on her breast and squeezed it without her consent.

Another woman claimed that Gooding made a "sexually suggestive remark" her at TAO nightclub in October 2018 and then later that night pinched her buttocks without her consent, according to court documents. Prosecutors accused the actor's legal team in court of leaking video in the Tao incident to TMZ. Gooding Jr.’s lawyers did not address the allegation of leaking the clip.

Assistant D.A. Jenna Long said in a statement Thursday that they were working on redacting victim's faces from both of the 2018 incidents and that the clip released of the video only showed Gooding Jr.'s conduct after the alleged pinch.

"We’ve provided defense counsel a short clip from one of the incidents and, within 24 hours, that video had been released to the media," Long's statement said. "We feel that the release is inappropriate and an effort to taint the jury pool.”

Gooding Jr.'s lawyer Mark Heller claims that the Tao incident was nothing more than a brief graze as he exited the restaurant and said goodbye.

"We believe without question that the case is purely a case of malicious prosecution and we are confident that as soon as this case is dismissed we will hold the city of New York and his accusers accountable," Heller said. "The clip shows exactly the momentary incident of contact between Cuba and the accuser."

Gooding Jr. is now facing three counts each of forcible touching and third degree sex abuse and is next expected in court on Jan. 22.