Actor Cuba Gooding Jr. on Wednesday pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge in connection with forcibly kissing a waitress during an encounter at a nightclub in New York City in 2018. The plea agreement comes three years after the 54-year-old was arrested after several women accused him of sexual misconduct, PEOPLE reported.
Besides admitting to kissing the waitress on her lips without her consent, Gooding also admitted to two separate non-consensual contact allegations in October 2018 and June 2019, CNN reported.
Per the terms of the plea agreement, Gooding, who is currently undergoing alcohol and behavior modification treatment, must continue the program for six more months. He must also have no new arrests. If Gooding is able to meet the terms of the agreement, he can re-plead to a lower charge of harassment.
He will also receive a sentence of time served if meets the conditions of the plea agreement and re-pleads to harassment. Gooding, however, can be sentenced to up to a year in jail if he fails to honor the terms.
“Cuba Gooding Jr. entered into a re-pleader today whereby in six months his case will be disposed of with a violation, which is not a crime, resulting in no criminal record,” Gooding’s attorney, Peter Toumbekis, told CNN in a statement.
Gooding’s forcible touching trial commenced in June 2019. Another charge was leveled against him about four months later. But he initially pleaded not guilty to the charges. An attempt by his lawyers to have the case dismissed was also thrown out. And though the actor’s trial was scheduled to start in April 2020, it was pushed back because of the pandemic.
On Wednesday, assistant district attorney Coleen Balbert told the court that Gooding has been undergoing counseling since September 2019 to ensure he doesn’t repeat such actions.