A judge has denied Cuba Gooding Jr.’s motion to dismiss the groping case brought on against him, allowing for the case to move forward.
Judge Phyllis Chu issued an off-calendar decision, denying Gooding’s motion to dismiss the case in the interest of justice.
The actor is facing forcible touching, a misdemeanour, and sexual abuse charges in connection to an alleged incident in which he groped a woman at a rooftop bar in Manhattan in June.
According to court documents initially submitted last month looking for his case to be dismissed, Gooding’s attorney Mark Heller argued that law enforcement committed misconduct when they allegedly disregarded or suppressed statements made by the accuser. Additionally, he said that there were individuals allegedly present who affirm they never say Gooding touch the woman.
In his decision, Chu disagreed with the arguments made by the Gooding’s team saying, “The conflicting factual allegations between the criminal court information and the defendant's motion should be resolved at trial. Despite the defendant's submissions, this is not a "rare case[s] where there is a compelling factor which clearly demonstrates that prosecution ... would be an injustice.”
Additionally, Chu said that the court found the allegations are “sufficiently serious such that any hardship experienced by the defendant is not enough to satisfy either the purpose and effect of an authorized punishment for these charges.”
Gooding’s case has been administratively adjourned to Sept. 4 for trial.
In response to the judge’s ruling, Heller posted a statement on his website not only announcing he started the “Not Me Movement," but that he is confident Gooding will be “totally exonerated.”
“After fifty years of defending innocent, falsely accused and unfairly prosecuted Defendants, I am igniting the “Not Me Movement. (#NotMe),” the statement says.
“I am totally confident that when a jury of Cuba Gooding Jr.’s peers assess all the exculpatory evidence in this case, that he will be totally exonerated. His exoneration can only be facilitated by a Jury Trial, in light of the determination by the Court in its Decision concerning the recent Motion to Dismiss in the Interest of Justice,” Heller’s statement goes on to say. “I am confident that after his exoneration, his case will be a hallmark example for the #NotMe Movement.”