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Cuba Gooding groping case set for October

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US actor Cuba Gooding Jr. arrives at New York State Criminal Court in New York, New York, USA, 03 September 2019. EPA/PETER FOLEY

Actor Cuba Gooding Jr's trial for allegedly groping a woman at a Manhattan bar in June has been set for October 10.

Gooding, dressed in a grey suit and tie, appeared calm during a brief appearance at the court.

His trial had previously been scheduled to begin on Tuesday with jury selection but prosecutors said they needed more time to gather video evidence and turn it over to Gooding's lawyers.

His lawyer, Mark Heller, told reporters after the hearing he believed prosecutors were "trying to procrastinate" because Gooding's accuser was not co-operating with them.

Justin Henry, a spokesman for the prosecutors, declined to comment on that claim.

"Cuba is extremely confident that this case will be dismissed," Heller said. "Cuba takes the position, and we do as well, that he is someone that should never have been prosecuted."

The actor is accused 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.

Gooding, 51, was arrested four days later after turning himself in to police.

He has pleaded not guilty to forcible touching and sexual abuse charges and is free on his own recognizance. He faces up to a year in jail if convicted

The actor, who is divorced, is one of dozens of men in politics, entertainment, sports and the business world who have been accused of sexual misconduct since allegations against movie producer Harvey Weinstein triggered the (hash)MeToo movement.

Weinstein is to stand trial in New York later this year on charges of rape and forced oral sex involving two women. He has denied any non-consensual sex.

Gooding won a supporting actor Oscar in 1997 for Jerry Maguire and had roles in A Few Good Men, The Butler and the television miniseries The People v. O.J. Simpson.

© RAW 2019