Cuba Gooding Jr. groping trial: Judge rules 2 more women can testify

Cuba Gooding Jr.'s groping trial will begin on Apr. 21, a judge declared Wednesday. Gooding has been charged with forcible touching and sexual abuse stemming from three alleged incidents. Judge Curtis Farber ruled that two additional women who have accused the 52-year-old actor of unwanted sexual touching will be allowed to testify.

The New York Times reports the Manhattan district attorney’s office asked to put 19 witnesses on the stand to show that the actor has exhibited similar predatory behavior for years. One of the women the judge will allow accuses Gooding of having grabbed her backside and licked her neck at a New York hotel bar in 2013. The other woman claims the Oscar-winning actor groped and forcibly kissed her at a bar in California in 2018.

Judge Farber said in his order that admitting all 19 witnesses would result in "undue prejudice," but that the "probative value of admitting a limited selection of incidents outweighs any such prejudice."

One of Gooding’s attorneys, Mark J. Heller, told the Times he considered the judge’s ruling to be a "tremendous victory" for the defense. Heller has said that when a celebrity is charged with a criminal offense, people tend to "come out of the woodwork with allegations that are all over the place and, for the most part, aren’t provable."

Related: Cuba Gooding Jr. out and about

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Cuba Gooding Jr. out and about
Actor Cuba Gooding Jr. arrives at the New York Police Department's Special Victim's Unit, Thursday, June 13, 2019 to face allegations he groped a woman at a city night spot. A 29-year-old woman told police the 51-year-old Gooding grabbed her breast while he was intoxicated around 11:15 p.m. Sunday. Gooding denies the allegations. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 29: Cuba Gooding Jr. attends the New York premiere of "Rocketman" at Alice Tully Hall on May 29, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 28: Cuba Gooding Jr. attends Special Red Carpet Screening Of Ron Howard's Documentary "Pavarotti" at iPic Theater on May 28, 2019 in New York. (Photo by Paul Bruinooge/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 22: Cuba Gooding Jr. (L) and Rickey Edwards attend Cuba Gooding Jr. & Anna Rothschild Host Marble Downtown at Marble Downtown on May 22, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Johnny Nunez/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 22: Cuba Gooding Jr. attends the Grand Opening of Marble Downtown hosted by Cuba Gooding Jr. & Anna Rothschild at Marble Downtown on May 22, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Manny Carabel/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MARCH 27: Cuba Gooding Jr. attends 'Ain't No Mo' opening night at The Public Theater on March 27, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Santiago Felipe/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 12: Cuba Gooding Jr. attends the 'Second Act' World Premiere at Regal Union Square Theatre, Stadium 14 on December 12, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Daniel Zuchnik/FilmMagic)
MIAMI, FL - DECEMBER 9: Cuba Gooding Jr and Dj Khaled attend Nicole & DJ Khaled's Birthday Celebration With Haute Living And Roger Dubuis at Perez Art Museum Miami on December 9, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Romain Maurice/Getty Images for Haute Living)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 27: Max Tsai (L) and Cuba Gooding Jr attend the "Roma" New York screening at DGA Theater on November 27, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 13: (L-R) Evan Harrington, Raena White, Producer Fran Weissler, Bianca Marroquin, Cuba Gooding Jr, Amra-Faye Wright and R. Lowe pose backstage at a celebration for The 22nd Anniversary of the musical "Chicago" on Broadway at The Ambassador Theatre on November 13, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Glikas/Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 07: Cuba Gooding Jr. attends the opening of CMX CineBistro with special screenings of 'Blackkklansman', 'City Lights' and 'Pretty Baby' at CMX CineBistro on November 7, 2018 in New York City (Photo by Gary Gershoff/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 09: Cuba Gooding Jr. returns to Broadway in "Chicago" on October 9, 2018 at the Ambassador Theatre in New York City. (Photo by Walter McBride/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 04: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Actor/director Cuba Gooding Jr.visits SiriusXM Studios on October 4, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 04: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Actor/director Cuba Gooding Jr. visits Sway's at SiriusXM Studios on October 4, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 01: Actor Cuba Gooding Jr. attends The Academy Of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences 2018 New Members Party at Top of the Rock's 620 Loft & Garden on October 1, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Mark Sagliocco/Getty Images for The Academy Of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 01: Cuba Gooding Jr. visits Build Series to discuss his role as a director and actor for his new film "Bayou Caviar" at Build Studio on October 1, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Manny Carabel/Getty Images)
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Gooding arrived late on Wednesday to court — the same building where opening arguments began in Harvey Weinstein's rape trial. According to Page Six, the actor was scolded by the judge.

"The case was called for 9:30 a.m. Why are you late?" Farber said as Gooding strolled in at 10:02am.

"I apologize, we hit traffic," Gooding's other attorney, Peter Toumbekis, explained.

"You have to leave early next time," Farber ordered.

The Jerry Maguire star was arrested in June 2019 after allegedly groping a woman's breast at a Manhattan club. He has maintained no wrongdoing. Since then, an additional 21 women have come forward with allegations of unwanted touching by the actor. He was hit with additional charges from two other incidents, from 2018, in which he allegedly pinched a woman's behind at the Tao Downtown nightclub and allegedly forcibly kissed a female server at Upper East Side hotspot LAVO.

Gooding faces a total of six counts. Each case involves two misdemeanor charges, of forcible touching and third-degree sexual abuse. He faces a maximum penalty of one year in jail.

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