Actor Cuba Gooding Jr. avoids felony report in Manhattan intercourse abuse case By Reuters

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© Reuters. Actor Cuba Gooding Jr. seems in New York Legal Courtroom for his sentencing listening to after he pleaded responsible to a misdemeanor depend of forcibly touching a girl at a New York nightclub in 2018, in Manhattan in New York Metropolis, New York, U.S., October 13, 20

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By Danielle Broadway

(Reuters) – Actor Cuba Gooding Jr. pleaded responsible on Thursday to a single depend of harassment beneath an settlement with prosecutors sparing him any jail time whereas disposing of a felony case that stemmed from allegations by a number of ladies of sexual misconduct.

The second-degree harassment quotation, categorized as a non-criminal violation in New York state’s penal code, akin to trespassing, will stay on Gooding’s report, however his responsible plea in April to a extra critical felony misdemeanor of forcible touching shall be expunged, a spokesperson for the Manhattan district lawyer stated.

Gooding, 54, was permitted to withdraw his earlier plea after prosecutors affirmed in court docket that had met the phrases of April’s conditional plea deal by remaining in court-ordered alcohol and habits modification therapy for six months with no additional arrests.

As a part of his unique plea, which stemmed from forcibly kissing a girl at a nightclub in September 2018, Gooding additionally admitted to subjecting two different ladies to non-consensual bodily contact in October 2018 and June 2019.

The Oscar-winning actor, accused of rape in a separate civil lawsuit filed in federal court docket, is one in every of quite a few highly effective males in Hollywood publicly accused of sexual abuse since allegations towards film producer Harvey Weinstein triggered the worldwide #MeToo motion in 2017. Gooding has denied the rape allegations.

One among Gooding’s attorneys, Frank Rothman, advised Reuters that Gooding’s harassment plea in Manhattan advantages his shopper by avoiding a felony report in addition to sparing him additional jail time.

“There have been three victims that resulted in six counts in an indictment. Expenses relating to 2 out of the three had been dismissed outright, and the third ended up in a plea to harassment as a violation,” Rothman stated.

On the time unique plea deal was reached in April, Assistant District Lawyer Coleen Balbert stated in court docket that the settlement got here after “prolonged discussions between the protection, myself and the complaining witnesses on this case.”

Balbert stated the plea deal would spare the accusers from having to testify or face cross-examination at a trial.

However one in every of Gooding’s accusers, Kelsey Harbert, expressed outrage on the final result of the case throughout a web-based information convention along with her lawyer, Gloria Allred.

“I’ve waited three years for the chance to talk about the injustice of Cuba Gooding Jr. I had hoped to take action within the context of a trial during which he could be held accountable to the irreparable harm he did to me one summer time evening in 2019,” Herbert stated.

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