Prosecutors have fired back against claims that the woman accusing actor Cuba Gooding Jr. of groping her did so because she is mentally "troubled."
Gooding’s legal team claimed in court documents last month that the actor’s accuser, who told police that Gooding groped her breast without her consent at a nightclub, is “predisposed” to making “false allegations,” and cited her blog posts as proof of her alleged “troubled mentality.”
Manhattan prosecutors responded to those claims in court documents filed Wednesday that accuse Gooding of trying to embarrass his accuser, Page Six reports.
“Notably, none of these statements bear any relation to the facts of this case or to defendant’s guilt or innocence,” Assistant District Attorney Jenna Long wrote. “They were simply inflammatory comments used to embarrass and humiliate the complainant.”
Gooding’s accuser, a 30-year-old student at New York University whose identity has not been shared, told police on June 10 that Gooding, 51, groped her breast without her consent during an interaction at the Magic Hour Bar & Lounge in Manhattan, The New York Times reports. Gooding surrendered to authorities a few days later and was released within hours. He is now facing forcible touching and sexual abuse charges, and has entered a not guilty plea, according to the Associated Press. If convicted, he could be sentenced to a maximum of one year in jail.
Gooding’s lawyer, Mark Heller, requested last month that the case be dismissed, but a judge opted not to, deciding instead to allow ample time for written arguments to be reviewed and for prosecutors to respond to the motion before the next court date of Aug. 14, the Associated Press reports.
Long said in her filing Wednesday that Gooding’s motion to dismiss, which she described as relying on “unsubstantiated vague and conclusory reasoning,” fails to meet the criteria needed to justify the dismissal of a case, according to Yahoo News.
Fame, she also said, should not protect Gooding from consequences.
“Simply because a defendant has found success in his or her profession, no matter the field, does not justify thwarting criminal proceedings from advancing to trial, for a fact finder to weigh evidence and decide guilt,” court documents read, according to Page Six.
Gooding has maintained his innocence, telling TMZ last month, “I trust the system and the process will speak for itself. There’s a tape that shows what really happened. That’s the most important thing — let’s not take away from that.”
Independent of the alleged June 10 groping, law enforcement sources confirmed last month that they are also looking into another groping incident involving Gooding that allegedly happened more than 10 years ago.
Claudia Oshry, a blogger and comedian, has claimed that the actor groped her at a nightclub when she was underage. These claims have been included for years in her stand-up act, and have connected her with others who say they received similar treatment from Gooding, she alleges.
Heller, speaking on behalf of the actor, dismissed those allegations and claimed that his client has never met Oshry and that the incident never happened.
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