( NEW YORK)– Cuba Gooding Jr. turned himself in and was apprehended Thursday on charges he searched a woman in an encounter at a New York City night area that appears to have actually been caught on video.
The 51- year-old Oscar-winning star of “Jerry Maguire” denies the accusations and pleaded not guilty to forcible touching and sexual assault charges at a night court arraignment.
He was launched on his own recognizance after about six hours in cops custody.
Gooding did not discuss his case as he left court, instead providing well wishes to David Ortiz, the Boston Red Sox star hospitalized after he was shot Sunday in the Dominican Republic.
” Recover, Big Papi,” Gooding stated while passing a phalanx of electronic cameras and press reporters in the courthouse lobby.
Prior to getting into a vehicle outside, he added: “It’s been a long day.”
A 29- year-old lady informed authorities that Gooding location his hand on her breast and squeezed it without her authorization Sunday night at Magic Hour Roof Bar & Lounge. The woman said she believed Gooding was intoxicated.
Video obtained by TMZ that the website says is from inside the bar on the night in question appears to reveal Gooding putting his hand on or near a female’s leg and breast as they sit on a sofa with another woman in between them.
Gooding is then seen pulling the woman’s hand to his lips, as if to kiss it, and favoring her before another guy steps up and talks with them.
The video could be key evidence for prosecutors, but Gooding’s legal representative said the footage revealed “not the slightest scintilla of inappropriate conduct” and will exonerate him.
” Mr. Gooding has not acted inappropriately in any shape or kind,” lawyer Mark Heller stated.
” Absolutely nothing in the video could even be thought about unclear, and I frankly am stunned and frightened that this case is being prosecuted,” he added.
Gooding, in a dark blue match, smiled and waved as he strolled into an authorities station Thursday afternoon to meet special victims private investigators. Inside, they took his finger prints and a mug shot before leading him out in handcuffs.
Later on, Gooding rested on a wood bench in the front row of an austere courtroom, his hands cuffed behind his back and his face turned severe as he awaited his case to be called. As an investigator uncuffed him, he uncurled his hands and shook them out.
A conviction might put Gooding behind bars for up to a year. He is due back in court June 26.
Heller said he doubted the accuser would reveal up for court hearings and recommended that prosecutors should charge her with perjury if she testified in court and her accusations were opposed by video.
The NYPD has not determined the accuser.
Heller stated that after he and his staff reviewed the two-hour security video, he was hesitant to let Gooding give up and thought police and prosecutors would drop the case.
The Manhattan district attorney’s office did not comment.
” I am extremely positive that he will be absolutely exonerated,” Heller stated.
Heller also challenged accusations in media reports from a 2nd female said to have stepped forward in current days and told police that Gooding grabbed her butts at a New york city City dining establishment in 2008.
Gooding was not charged on that claims.
” There is no pattern of conduct,” Heller stated in an interview Thursday. “It is not unusual for people to come out of the woodwork when these things take place.”
Gooding was included in another bar-related episode in New Orleans in2012 A bartender stated that the star was agitated by clients who wanted images with him which he pushed her when she asked him to leave.
An arrest warrant was issued, but the bartender declined to push charges.
As for Sunday night, Gooding informed TMZ that he was at Magic Hour partying with pals but didn’t touch anyone. He stated there’s a video that shows “what actually occurred.”
” I rely on the system and will let the process speak for itself,” Gooding stated in the TMZ interview.
Videos posted on social networks reveal Gooding at the Manhattan bar Sunday night singing the Journey struck “Faithfully” and posing for photos with fans.
The bar, on the roofing of the Moxy Hotel south of Times Square, includes miniature golf and sweeping views of the Empire State Building and other Huge Apple landmarks.
Gooding, a Bronx local, increased to fame after starring in “Boyz N the Hood” in 1991.
6 years later on, he won an Oscar for his function as NFL player in “Jerry Maguire.” His character’s signature line, “Program me the money,” ended up being a catchphrase.
Gooding was chosen for an Emmy Award last year for playing the title character in the FX series “The People v. O.J. Simpson.” He just recently appeared on Broadway and London’s West End as legal representative Billy Flynn in “Chicago.”
Associated Press author Kiley Armstrong added to this report.
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