Cuba Gooding Jr. is expected to face charges Thursday that he groped a woman’s breast at a bar in June.
Mr. Gooding, who denies the accusation, is expected to appear in Manhattan Criminal Court after Judge Phyllis Chu rejected his lawyer’s request that charges be dismissed.
The episode is said to have occurred the night of June 9 at Magic Hour Rooftop Bar, a pricey lounge at the Moxy NYC Times Square hotel in Manhattan. According to the criminal complaint, the accuser said that Mr. Gooding placed his hand on her breast without her consent and squeezed.
Mr. Gooding, 51, voluntarily surrendered to the police in June and was charged with third-degree misdemeanor sexual abuse and forcible touching. The forcible touching charge carries a maximum penalty of one year in jail.
Shortly after Mr. Gooding was arrested, TMZ published blurry surveillance footage it says captured what happened at the bar.
In Judge Chu’s denial, she wrote that Mr. Gooding submitted testimony from two people who said they were present at the time of the incident and who said they did not see Mr. Gooding touch the woman. Judge Chu wrote that Mr. Gooding also submitted testimony from a retired police officer who is an “expert in false reports in sexual assault cases.” That officer saw video of the incident and said he did not believe Mr. Gooding committed a crime.
According to those court documents, Mr. Gooding also asserted that his accuser “is predisposed to make false allegations against the defendant.”
But Judge Chu did not find Mr. Gooding’s arguments for dismissal persuasive.
“The conflicting factual allegations between the criminal court information and the defendant’s motion should be resolved at trial,” she wrote.
On Wednesday, Mr. Gooding’s lawyer, Mark J. Heller, declined to comment before the start of the trial, as did a spokesman for the Manhattan district attorney’s office.
At the time of Mr. Gooding’s arrest, the police said they were investigating a second groping allegation against him in connection with an episode that occurred several years ago. The police said the woman in that case came forward after seeing news reports about the June incident. Mr. Gooding is facing no other criminal charges at this time, a spokesman for the district attorney’s office said.
Part of Mr. Gooding’s defense, according to court documents, is that he has no criminal convictions and that he “rose from a starving artist in the Bronx to a highly regarded and successful actor.”
Mr. Gooding’s first major success was in the 1991 film “Boyz N the Hood,” and he won an Academy Award in 1997 for his supporting role in “Jerry Maguire.” In 2016, he played O.J. Simpson in the television series “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story.”