Cuba Gooding Jr serve NO prison time in sex abuse case, victim says 'it’s like it never happened'
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MANHATTAN, NEW YORK: The Oscar award winner and talented artist Cuba Gooding Jr has been set free without time in prison in a sexual assault case on Thursday, October 13, in a judgment by the State Superior court in Manhattan. Cuba pleaded guilty to a single count of harassment, thus ending the case. The artist was accused of groping or forcibly kissing three women in 2019.
The #MeToo defendant has completed alcohol and behavioral counseling over the past six months. This allowed the actor to withdraw his misdemeanor guilty plea. Meanwhile, the victim, Kelsey Harbert, claimed he got VIP treatment because of "who he was," reported Daily News.
Kelsey said, “For those of you who may not know, Cuba Gooding Jr. forcibly grabbed, squeezed, and fondled my breast within the first 10 seconds of meeting me at the Magic Hour Club in Manhattan." She spoke to the media after the verdict. The neuroscience student then said, “Early on, the system began making special accommodations for him. Every time I questioned why he was receiving VIP treatment, I was given the same answer: ‘Because of who he is.’”
There were 30 women who raised their allegations against him, reports AP. Cuba, who might have faced a year in prison, could trade his guilty plea by attending such therapies and staying safe from not having any criminal records. The 54-year-old actor was previously charged with one count of forcible touching and one count of sexual abuse in the third degree. However, the recent developments will now help him not to even spend a day in jail. There are two more lawsuits and one criminal cast against the actor claims Daily News.
However, a statement from one of the victims was read out by Assistant District Attorney Coleen Balbert. The victim stated, "I wasn’t going to come forward until I realized I was one of four women working in my restaurant that had an incident with him, and one of those women was coming out."
Further, she said, “One of the other women was my trainee. That night, and her first night on the job, Cuba licked her hand right before she watched him force his tongue into my mouth unexpectedly while I delivered him drinks.” Another shocking revelation from one of the victims was that Cuba allegedly followed her and kissed her forcibly during the 2009 Sundance Film Festival. He also allegedly put his hand in her crotch and ripped her tights. Meanwhile, he also told her, "I can ruin you."
Kelsey also said, “Over 30 other women have come forward since I first reported what Mr. Gooding did to me. At what point are we going to take this seriously? When will we decide that this is dangerous behavior? And when is it the court's responsibility to protect the public from someone like him?." She also claimed, “The system is supposed to be about what he did—not who he is. Despite the harm to me, Cuba Gooding Jr. walks away from the court a free man without a record. It’s like it never happened," reports Daily Beast.
However, One of Gooding's lawyers, Frank Rothman who spoke to Reuters said, "There were three victims that resulted in six counts in an indictment. Charges relating to two out of the three were dismissed outright, and the third ended up in a plea to harassment as a violation." Kelsey's lawyer, Gloria Allred described the case as “a prosecutorial gift to a celebrity who is undeserving of such an outcome," reported Daily News.