Cuba Gooding Jr.’s groping trial set to begin on Thursday

NEW YORK — Cuba Gooding Jr.’s trial on groping charges is set to begin this week.

The trial, which is scheduled to start Thursday, was postponed in September after prosecutors said they were still waiting for evidence in the Oscar-winning “Jerry Maguire” star’s case. Gooding’s lawyers argued against the delay.

The actor is accused of placing his hand on a 29-year-old woman’s breast and squeezing it without her consent at Magic Hour Rooftop Bar & Lounge near Times Square on June 9. The woman told police she believed Gooding was intoxicated.

The 51-year-old Gooding was arrested four days later after turning himself in to police. He pleaded not guilty to forcible touching and sexual abuse charges and was released on his own recognizance.

Gooding later requested to have his case thrown out, but he was rejected.

The defense had filed papers saying the misdemeanor forcible touching case should be dismissed based on accounts of two witnesses who say it never happened, and that video from the bar backs up that claim. The papers argued that since there was clear evidence that no crime was committed, it was necessary to throw out the case to protect the integrity of the criminal justice system.

The judge ruled that the conflicting accounts should be resolved at a trial.

Gooding faces up to a year in jail if convicted.

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