Cuba Gooding Jr.'s trial was about to get underway for a second time, but district prosecutors informed the court Thursday morning they have indicted the Hollywood actor with a new charge.
Assistant D.A. Jenna Long said that the charges in this indictment cover the existing incident as well as a new previously uncharged incident.
Gooding is set to be arraigned again on Tuesday in Manhattan Supreme Court. The indictment is under seal and will likely only be revealed at the arraignment.
The actor came inside the courtroom for the proceeding, which only took a few minutes. He was looking serious and kept his head up but didn’t seem as confident as he was for previous hearings. He was wearing a black suit and tie.
Cuba Gooding’s attorney Mark Heller told Fox News on Thursday that prosecutors had “no case to begin with” and the move to indict him is just “dragging and proroguing the process.” He points out that none of “seven interviews” that the district attorney’s office has conducted have given rise to their case. However, Heller recognizes he has “no idea” what this new incident is about.
He says his client is “not happy about this, but he is confident in the system” and Gooding “feels this will all be resolved.”
Gooding had so far been accused of two counts of forcible touching and sexual abuse in the third degree after an alleged groping incident at a bar in New York City in June.
A 29-year-old woman says he placed his hand on her breast, squeezing it without her consent, at Magic Hour Rooftop Bar Lounge near Times Square. He was allegedly intoxicated at the time.
The 51-year-old 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.
Gooding later requested to have his case thrown out, but he was rejected.
The defense had filed papers saying the misdemeanor forcible touching case should be dismissed based on accounts of two witnesses who say it never happened, and that video from the bar backs up that claim. The filed documents argued that since there was clear evidence that no crime was committed, it was necessary to throw out the case to protect the integrity of the criminal justice system.
Gooding faces up to a year in jail if convicted.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.