MIDTOWN, Manhattan -- Oscar-winning actor Cuba Gooding Jr. was back in court in New York City for his groping case Tuesday, and he learned his is facing two additional counts of forcible touching.
Gooding's attorney Mark Heller said the new accusation "is even less credible than the first one."
"We are so surprised that this case is going forward and it is only indicative of the hysteria and unusual environment and climate that exists today," Heller said. "To such an extent that a commonplace gesture is now perceived to be inappropriate."
The new incident allegedly occurred on October 24, 2018, when prosecutors say Gooding pinched the buttocks of a woman in the TAO downtown nightclub on Ninth Avenue. When confronted, he allegedly claimed he had only pinched her back.
Prosecutors also cited 12 more instances in which women they have talked to claim Gooding inappropriately touched them. Most of these occurred in other states, and prosecutors said in court they would like to call these women to testify in Goodings trial.
"We are shocked, outraged and absolutely dumbfounded," Heller said. "Cuba's life has been put on hold for four months."
Heller asked for the cases to be severed and tried separately rather than in one indictment, and defense motions will be filed in November.
The "Jerry Maguire" actor pleaded not guilty and was released on his own recognizance. He is due back in court in December for the judge's decision.
Gooding gave a thumbs up but did not comment following court.
Gooding was previously accused of groping a woman at a rooftop bar near Times Square back in June.
A criminal complaint filed by prosecutors in Manhattan accused Gooding of placing his hand on a 29-year-old woman's breast and squeezing it without her consent at Magic Hour Rooftop Bar & Lounge near Times Square on June 9.
The woman told police she believed Gooding was intoxicated, and the 51-year-old "Jerry Maguire" star was arrested four days later after turning himself in to police.
He pleaded not guilty to forcible touching and sexual abuse charges and was released on his own recognizance after about six hours in police custody.
A judge in August rejected his request to have the case thrown out.
Gooding's legal team claims there is surveillance video that will exonerate him, but the judge ruled that the conflicting accounts should be resolved at a trial.
He could face up to a year in prison if convicted on the original count.
Cuba Gooding Jr. back in New York City court, facing 2 new counts of forcible touching
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