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Cuba Gooding Jr.'s sex abuse trial starts Thursday

Updated 3:49 AM ET, Thu October 10, 2019

(CNN) - The sex abuse trial of actor Cuba Gooding Jr. -- who has been accused of groping a woman in a Manhattan bar in June -- is set to begin Thursday.

The trial was initially scheduled for September, but prosecutors with the Manhattan District Attorney's Office argued for a later start, Gooding's lawyer, Mark Heller said.

The Oscar winner is charged with two misdemeanors: forcible touching and sex abuse in the third degree, related to the alleged groping incident in June. A 29-year-old woman filed a police report back then stating Gooding grabbed her breast at Magic Hour Rooftop Bar & Lounge in Manhattan.

Gooding has pleaded not guilty to the charges and denies the allegations.

The woman told police she was with friends when she was confronted by a male patron whom she described as Gooding, a law enforcement source told CNN.

"The male allegedly groped her breasts," the source said. "The victim later told cops she protested at the unwanted touching and they argued about the encounter."

The woman left the bar and called 911 to report the incident, the source said, and NYPD Manhattan Special Victims Squad investigated.

Gooding voluntarily surrendered to New York police in June for questioning and was released without bail.

Attorney says video will clear Gooding

Gooding's attorney has said the video footage taken from the bar that night will clear the actor.

"In my 50 years, almost, of practicing law, I have never seen a case like this one because there is not a scintilla of criminal culpability that can be attributed to Mr. Cuba Gooding Jr. after I have extensively, with my staff, reviewed the video of almost two hours which reflects the entire event for which we are here today," Heller had told reporters.

The actor previously told TMZ he did nothing wrong and has evidence to prove it.

"There's a tape that shows what really happened," Gooding said. "I believe in the system and let the process speak for itself."


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