Cuba Gooding Jr.’s groping trial will start February 1, Manhattan Judge Curtis Farber decided Monday. Gooding faces six misdemeanor counts of alleged sexual misconduct involving three women. Farber set the date after expressing annoyance that proceedings in Gooding’s case would soon enter their third year. “I want to lock this down for trial,” Farber said. “This case has been on my calendar for two years.” In asking that the trial date be set firmly, prosecutors said they “have a lot of witnesses” and have to “fly people in.”
Gooding sported a dark-gray suit, a crisp white button-down, and an interpretive approach to aviator sunglasses. As Gooding entered the courthouse at 100 Centre Street, one person walking in for other court business wondered aloud, “Who’s that?” Learning that the man was Gooding, the onlooker said “I knew it!” with starstruck satisfaction. Someone else shouted “Gooding!” shortly before the actor passed through the door.
During an August 2020 court appearance, prosecutors revealed that 30 women had come forward with allegations against Gooding. He has maintained his innocence. Later that August, the Jerry Maguire actor was sued for rape by a Jane Doe in Manhattan federal court. The accuser alleged that Gooding forcibly performed vaginal and anal sex on her in 2013. One of Gooding’s lawyers, Mark Heller, denied the allegations, which he called “completely false and perjurious.” He added, “The incident never took place and did not give rise to any criminal complaint seven years back when it purportedly took place.”