Cuba Gooding Jr. pleads not guilty to second groping charge, 14 women now accuse him of misconduct

Taryn Ryder

Cuba Gooding Jr. appeared in a New York court Tuesday for his arraignment where he pleaded not guilty to two instances of sexual misconduct. The new charges involve an alleged incident in October 2018, according to the 4-count indictment obtained by Yahoo Entertainment. Prosecutors say they are aware of 12 other uncharged incidents.

Gooding, 51, has been awaiting trial as he was previously charged with third-degree misdemeanor sexual abuse and forcible touching. A 29-year-old woman claimed the intoxicated actor groped her breast at a Manhattan bar on June 9. He pleaded not guilty and has denied any wrongdoing. Last week, prosecutors announced new charges had been filed from a second incident. According to the indictment, Gooding "pinched the buttocks of a woman, without her consent" on Oct. 24, 2018 at Tao Downtown Nightclub in New York City. He has been charged again with third-degree misdemeanor sexual abuse and forcible touching.

Actor Cuba Gooding Jr. appears for his arraignment in New York State Supreme Court in the Manhattan borough of New York, U.S., October 15, 2019. Alec Tabak/Pool via REUTERS
Actor Cuba Gooding Jr. appears for his arraignment in New York State Supreme Court in the Manhattan borough of New York, U.S., October 15, 2019. (Photo: Alec Tabak/Pool via REUTERS)

"When this woman verbally confronted the defendant immediately after being pinched, defendant claimed that he had only pinched her back, not her buttocks," the document reads. "While continuing to deny his conduct, defendant raised his voice and stated in substance that he would never return to that nightclub again. Earlier that night, the defendant had made a sexually suggestive remark to this same woman."

Prosecutors detail 12 other alleged incidents of groping, sexual abuse and/or inappropriate conduct in an attempt to show a pattern of behavior. The incidents, all uncharged, range from 2001 to 2018 in New York, California, Texas, Nevada and New Mexico occurring at bars, clubs, hotels and restaurants. One woman alleges the Oscar-winning actor "touched her vagina over her underwear without consent" in Malibu, Calif. in 2014. Another woman claimed Gooding bit her shoulder at a bar in 2006. While prosecutors cannot file charges against Gooding based on the alleged incidents, they want the "uncharged bad acts" admissible to "show his bad character or criminal propensity." Prosecutors believe the incidents refute any claim by Gooding's defense team that the actor's behavior in June or October 2018 was accidental or consensual. The 12 women are apparently willing to testify.

Gooding's lawyer Mark Heller said outside court Tuesday that he is "shocked, outraged and absolutely dumbfounded." Heller claimed prosecutors are short on evidence from the initial incident, which is why they filed additional charges. The defense claims they have two witnesses who say the groping in June never happened and a video that backs up the assertion. Heller has also insinuated the victim from the October 2018 incident has a financial motive. Heller alleged the accuser’s lawyer reached out after the groping case made headlines a few months ago in hopes of reaching a settlement, but Gooding "declined to be shaken down."

Although Gooding was handcuffed during his arraignment after being booked on the new charges, he was released on his own recognizance. The actor's next court date is Dec. 13.

Read more from Yahoo Entertainment:

Want daily pop culture news delivered to your inbox? Sign up here for Yahoo Entertainment & Lifestyle’s newsletter.