Actor Cuba Gooding Jr is currently in a legal mess. The Jerry Maguire actor is appearing in a Manhattan court on six charges of sexual misconduct. These misconducts include forcible touching and sex abuse from three accusers. On Thursday, the prosecutors in the case said that more women have come forward with accusations against actor, bringing the total to 30.
The trial, that had to begin in April, was forced to take a lengthy hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic. Reconvening on Thursday (13 August), the prosecutors told the court that since the case began, more women had come forward with similar accusations against Cuba Gooding Jr.
As per CNN, Cuba Gooding Jr faces three counts of forcible touching and three counts of sex abuse to the third degree in three separate incidents involving three different women. The actor has pleaded not guilty and has denied any wrongdoing.
Gooding arrived at the court wearing a black face mask. He briefly unhooked to reveal that the inside read ‘Black Lives Matter.’ He was flanked by his attorney Peter Toumbekis, who argued in court on Thursday to be able to question people seen in the video around the time Gooding allegedly abused the women.
Toumbekis said, “We believe that the video unequivocally will show that Cuba committed absolutely no crime and we expect this case to be dismissed in one day.”
During the hearing, the prosecution and defence argued over whether the defence attorneys could question the victims ahead of the trial with regards to statements they made in the past. Toumbekis argued that he should be able to cross-examine accusers about past statements they’ve made publicly.
Cuba Gooding Jr’s lawyer said one accuser discussed her childhood abuse and resulting trauma in online posts. Another accuser spoke about being self-conscious about her body and her breast size, arguing that her negative feelings could impact her perception of the incident. He also argued to be able to question the victim about her proclivity for threesomes over monogamous relationships.
Judge Thomas Farber stated that the defence could ask such questions if they were relevant to his case.
A new trial date has not been set but there will be another hearing in this case on September 1. If found guilty, Gooding could face up to one year in prison.