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Judge Opts Not To Immediately Drop Cuba Gooding Jr.'s Groping Case In Response To Actor's Request To Dismiss

Gooding's lawyers say his career has been put on hold while he travels back and forth from Hollywood to New York City to appear in court, but the judge in the case won't issue a ruling on the motion to dismiss until August.

By Sharon Lynn Pruitt

A judge has denied Cuba Gooding Jr.’s request to dismiss the groping case against him — for now.

The 51-year-old actor appeared in court for a brief hearing on Wednesday, where a judge responded to his request to throw out the case against him so that he can continue, unencumbered, with work, the Associated Press reports. Judge Keisha Espinal concluded that she would forego ruling on the case until Aug. 14, thereby allowing her enough time to review written arguments, the news organization reports. The judge’s decision also gives prosecutors until July 17 to respond to the defense’s motion to dismiss.

Gooding’s lawyer, Mark Heller, claimed that his client’s professional life could be negatively affected if he were required to continuously travel from his home in Hollywood to New York City to attend court hearings. Gooding’s life, Heller argued, has been “put on hold.”

“It’s urgent that this matter be dismissed as quickly as possible,” he said.

Gooding could receive a maximum sentence of one year in jail if convicted, according to the Associated Press.

Cuba Gooding Jr.

Gooding was accused of touching a woman’s breast without her consent earlier this month while mingling at the Magic Hour Bar & Lounge in Manhattan. The unnamed woman called 911 early on June 10 to report the alleged groping; Gooding has since been hit with forcible touching and sexual abuse charges and has entered a not guilty plea in response.

Gooding’s defense has previously argued that his accuser was not credible and pointed to past blog posts as proof of her alleged “troubled mentality,” according to the Associated Press.

While unnamed police officials have claimed that surveillance footage supports the accuser’s story, Gooding’s lawyer has claimed that the footage will actually prove his innocence. Heller previously told The New York Times that “there was not a scintilla of criminal culpability” in the video.

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