Cuba Gooding Jr. voluntarily surrendered to New York police, was arrested and charged with a misdemeanor count of “forcible touching” involving an accusation he groped a woman’s breast in a New York bar on Sunday.
Gooding pleaded not guilty and was arraigned Thursday. He was released without bail; his next court date is June 26.
News video posted on Twitter earlier Thursday showed police walking a cuffed, smiling Gooding out what appeared to be a back door of the precinct.
Mark Heller, one of Gooding’s attorneys who arranged for Gooding to turn himself in to the sex-crime detectives, insisted prosecutors should decline to prosecute Gooding for lack of evidence of wrongdoing.
“I have viewed the footage (of video surveillance) of the entire evening and did not see one scintilla of criminal culpability on the part of Cuba Gooding,” Heller said.
But Gooding alluded to a video tape when he declared himself innocent of the accusation late Tuesday, as he was preparing to board a flight from Los Angeles to New York. He was stopped by a paparazzo who asked him if he was guilty of the accusation.
“No, absolutely not,” Gooding said, smiling affably.
In the video of the interview posted by TMZ, Gooding said he was at the bar, met people and took pictures with fans, but he rejected any suggestion he touched someone inappropriately, either on purpose or accidentally.
“I trust the system, let the process speak for itself,” Gooding said as he walked into the terminal, interrupted by a fan seeking a picture. “There’s a tape that shows what really happened.”
The Oscar-winning actor was accused of drunkenly groping a woman’s breast while partying and drinking with her at the Magic Hour Rooftop Bar and Lounge in midtown Manhattan on Sunday night.
The accuser, 29, called police hours after the alleged encounter in the early hours of Monday. So far, she has not been identified, nor has anyone claiming to be the accuser spoken to the media.