September 3, 2019 / 3:36 PM / 16 days ago

Trial of actor Cuba Gooding Jr gets October date in groping case

Actor Cuba Gooding Jr. appears in New York State Criminal Court in the Manhattan borough of New York, September 3, 2019. REUTERS/Jefferson Siegel

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Judge Herbert Moses of the Manhattan Supreme Court set an Oct. 10 trial date on Tuesday for the actor Cuba Gooding Jr., who was charged with groping a woman at a Manhattan bar in June.

Gooding, dressed in a gray suit and tie, appeared calm during a brief appearance at the court. His trial had previously been scheduled to begin Tuesday, but prosecutors said they needed more time to gather video evidence and turn it over to Gooding’s lawyers.

His lawyer, Mark Heller, told reporters after the hearing that he believed prosecutors were “trying to procrastinate” because Gooding’s accuser was not cooperating with them.

Justin Henry, a spokesman for the prosecutors, declined to comment on that claim.

“Cuba is extremely confident that this case will be dismissed,” Heller said. “Cuba takes the position, and we do as well, that he is someone that should never have been prosecuted.”

Gooding, 51, was charged with one misdemeanor count of forcible touching after an unidentified woman said the actor had touched her breasts. He has denied the allegation.

The actor, who is divorced, is one of dozens of men in politics, entertainment, sports and the business world who have been accused of sexual misconduct since allegations against movie producer Harvey Weinstein triggered the #MeToo movement.

Weinstein is to stand trial in New York later this year on charges of rape and forced oral sex involving two women. He has denied any non-consensual sex.

Gooding won a supporting actor Oscar in 1997 for “Jerry Maguire” and had roles in “A Few Good Men,” “The Butler” and the television miniseries “The People v. O.J. Simpson.”

Reporting By Brendan Pierson in New York; Editing by Bernadette Baum

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