Cuba Gooding Jr. gets no prison time in forcible touching case


Actor Cuba Gooding Jr. will not receive any prison time after following the terms of a plea agreement worked out in April, when he pleaded guilty to forcibly touching a woman at the Lavo New York nightclub in 2018.

The case was resolved Thursday in Manhattan Criminal Court, where it was established that Gooding, 54, complied with the requirements that he have no new arrests and attend six more months of the alcohol and behavior modification counseling he began in 2019. A spokesperson for the Manhattan district attorney’s office confirmed on Thursday that Gooding withdrew his previous misdemeanor plea and instead pleaded guilty to a lesser harassment violation.

As a result, Gooding, who could have received up to a year in prison had he not complied with the terms, will not have a criminal record. He still faces two pending civil lawsuits, also accusing him of sexual misconduct.

Attorney Frank Rothman, who represented Gooding in the criminal case, said that everything went for his client as planned and that prison time was “never on the table.”

“At the end of the day, after the DA’s office examined the pros and cons of going forward with, I’ll say, questionable evidence … they finally struck a compromise with us that satisfied both the prosecution and the defense,” Rothman said. “Though clearly, some of the complainants were not satisfied. Time to move on.”

The Oscar-winning actor was arrested in June 2019 on suspicion of forcible touching after a woman told police he touched her without her consent at the Magic Hour Rooftop Bar and Lounge. Gooding pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor charge. A few months later, two more women accused Gooding of forcibly touching them, one of them citing an incident at Tao Downtown in 2018 and the other at the Lavo nightclub that same year.

Dozens of women have come forward with allegations against Gooding. In April, he pleaded guilty to forcibly kissing the Lavo nightclub waitress. According to the Associated Press, she said in a victim impact statement read into the record during court proceedings that Gooding had seen “minimal repercussions” for his actions.

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