Cuba Gooding Jr. Avoids Jail Time in Forcible Touching Case
Months after pleading guilty to one count of forcible touching, Cuba Gooding Jr. will not be facing any jail time, having complied with the terms of a plea agreement.
As part of the plea agreement, Gooding had to undergo “alcohol and behavior modification treatment” for the last six months with no new arrests.
Having followed all the terms, he is entitled to withdraw his misdemeanor plea and “replead to Harassment in the Second Degree, with a sentence of time served, and a permanent stay of sealing.”
According to Emily Tuttle, spokesperson for the Manhattan District Attorney’s office, Gooding Jr. pleaded guilty to a lesser harassment charge, which will remain on his record.
Along with not serving any jail time, he was sentenced to time served.
After Thursday’s court hearing, one of Gooding’s accusers, Kelsey Harbert, told reporters outside, “At what point are we going to take this seriously? When will we decide that this is dangerous behavior? And when is it the court’s responsibility to protect the public from someone like him? The system is supposed to be about what he did. Not who he is.”
Harbert’s famed attorney Gloria Allred noted that she would talk to Harbert about whether her client will file a civil lawsuit against Gooding Jr.
In April, when Gooding Jr.’s plea agreement was announced, Assistant District Attorney Coleen Balbert said in court, “Your Honor, we’ve been able to reach a disposition in this matter after lengthy discussions between the defense, myself, and the complaining witnesses in this case. Before we begin, I would just like to say that we fully credit and believe all of the survivors in this case and thank all of the women and other witnesses who cooperated with our office during the pendency of our investigation.”
In the summer of 2019, Gooding Jr. turned himself in to police after being accused of groping a woman at a bar.
TMZ reported that the alleged victim claimed that Gooding Jr. had touched her breast.
Following the incident, two more women came forward with their own allegations. One claimed that he pinched her buttocks at TAO Downtown nightclub in 2018 and the other claimed that he forcibly touched her inappropriately at LAVO New York nightclub in 2019.
He eventually pleaded guilty to the incident at LAVO, telling the judge that he “kissed the waitress on her lips” without consent.
Gooding Jr. had previously pleaded not guilty to six misdemeanor counts and denied any wrongdoing.