As promised, Cuba Gooding Jr.'s lawyer is seeking to get a groping charge against the Oscar winner tossed, citing online blog posts that he says suggest the accuser has a "troubled mentality" that could explain why she made a "false" allegation against Gooding.
"The Interests of Justice are SCREAMING OUT FOR THE EXONERATION OF CUBA GOODING JR," Mark Heller declared in his motion to dismiss, which he posted on his website Sunday.
Gooding is accused of one count of "forcible touching," after a 29-year-old woman says the actor grabbed her breast at the Magic Hour Rooftop Bar and Lounge in Manhattan on the evening of June 9.
He has pleaded not guilty and has insisted "nothing" happened during an encounter with the accuser at the bar caught on fuzzy videotape. The accuser not been identified, and it is not clear if she has a lawyer or a representative to speak for her
In the motion to dismiss, which Heller had promised in advance of a hearing in the case scheduled for Wednesday in Manhattan, Heller said he has reviewed multiple postings by the accuser on her "blogs."
He asserts the posts "clearly reveal the metamorphism of a troubled mentality which sheds light on why she would make false allegations" that Gooding gropedher breast when she approached him and his girlfriend, Claudine De Niro, in the midtown club.
Heller also submitted affidavits from De Niro, the estranged wife of Robert De Niro's son, who was seated between Gooding and the accuser during their encounter, and from a witness also in the bar that night who says he saw the encounter.
De Niro and the witness, Matthew Assante, said in their affadavits that "at no time" did Gooding touch the accuser's breast or squeeze it as described in the criminal complaint against him.
Also included in the motion to dismiss is an affidavit from John Baeza, who said he is a former New York sex-crimes detective and "expert" in the field, who viewed the blurry surveillance tape taken from the bar "numerous times, frame by frame." In his expert opinion, he asserted, Gooding did not commit the sex crime he is charged with known as "forcible touching."
Heller, one of Gooding's two New York lawyers, spent most of his motion quoting extensively from the accuser's blogs.
Heller argues that her revelations about her mental health "provide considerable insight into why an individual with certain mental characteristics would be predisposed to make a false accusation against someone" if she felt, for instance, rejected or jealous.
According to the motion, the accuser wrote that she’s been diagnosed with "depression ADHD, anxiety disorder, PTSD, and basically learned that my brain was one big fat mess.”
But as there is no way to read the full posts, the words Heller highlighted lack context.
Still, he says the video and the affidavits, plus a conflicting account of what happened made by the accuser "conclusively shows" that no crime was committed.
The public will have no confidence in the criminal justice system in New York, Heller claimed, if people "are arrested and charged simply because one person made an unsubstantiated claim against another."
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