NEW YORK — Actor Cuba Gooding Jr. settled his molestation case in New York on Thursday, pleading guilty to a lesser charge and avoiding prison time after fulfilling the terms of a conditional plea agreement reached in April.

Prosecutor Colleen Balbert said Gooding stayed out of trouble and underwent six months of alcohol and behavior modification counseling, which allowed him to withdraw his plea to the offense and plead guilty to harassment.

Balbert said she received “positive reports over the last six months” from Gooding’s therapist. Balbert said the actor is continuing treatment after the expiration of his plea agreement.

Gooding, 54, faces no additional penalties and will have no criminal record after replacing his misdemeanor plea with a plea of ​​no criminal offense. Had Gooding failed to comply with the terms of the deal, he would have faced up to one year in prison.

In April, Gooding pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of sexually assaulting a female employee at a New York nightclub in 2018. It was just one of dozens of allegations of inappropriate behavior by the Oscar winner that have come to light in recent years.

Some of Gooding’s accusers criticized what they saw as a light sentence for the “Jerry Maguire” star, and some are pursuing civil lawsuits against him.

Gooding “saw minimal consequences” while his victims dealt with the consequences of his actions, the nightclub worker said in a victim impact statement that Balbert read into the court record.

Arrested in 2019, Gooding was among a large number of Hollywood heavyweights accused of wrongdoing in the #MeToo movement.

While Gooding was in court Thursday wrapping up his case, another Oscar-winning actor, Kevin Spacey, was on trial in a civil lawsuit alleging he sexually assaulted actor Anthony Rapp.

Meanwhile, in Los Angeles, former studio boss Harvey Weinstein and That ’70s star Danny Masterson are in the midst of separate rape lawsuits. Weinstein was convicted of similar charges in New York in 2020 and is serving a 23-year prison term.

Gooding’s case took more than three years to complete, extended by court delays related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gooding was arrested in June 2019 after a 29-year-old woman told police he groped her without her consent at the Magic Hour rooftop bar & Lounge near Times Square. This incident was not one of his guilty pleas.

A few months later, prosecutors accused Gooding of pinching a server’s buttocks after making a sexually suggestive remark to her at TAO Downtown and pleading guilty to forcibly kissing a waitress at LAVO New York in midtown Manhattan.

Both incidents are believed to have occurred in 2018.

Gooding admitted at a plea hearing in April that he “kissed the waitress on her lips” without consent and, explaining his actions during a plea of ​​harassment on Thursday, told Judge Curtis Farber: “I kissed the waitress, your honor.”

The waitress said in her victim impact statement that Gooding unexpectedly stuck his tongue in her mouth while she was serving drinks. She said she was aware of incidents involving Gooding and three other women at the club.

Gooding previously pleaded not guilty to six counts and dismissed all misdemeanor charges. His lawyers argued that overzealous prosecutors, caught up in the fervor of #MeToo, were trying to turn “trivial gestures” or misunderstandings into crimes.

Judge Curtis Farber previously ruled that if Gooding’s case goes to trial, prosecutors could call two additional women to testify about their allegations that Gooding also violated them. Prosecutors say a judge later overturned that decision, leading them to negotiate a plea deal.

Along with the criminal case, Gooding is accused of raping a woman in New York in 2013. After a judge issued a default judgment in July because Gooding failed to respond to the lawsuit, the actor hired a lawyer and is fighting the charges.

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