As predicted, actor and server boundary violator Cuba Gooding Jr. will not face any jail time after pleading guilty to forcible touching after kissing a worker on the mouth without her consent at a New York nightclub in 2018.
As previously reported, the “Boyz N the Hood” actor—who has actually been accused of violating three different women in Manhattan—entered the guilty plea in April that would allow him the avoid jail time under the condition continues to attend “alcohol and behavior modification” counseling for six months. According to the Associated Press, that’s exactly what he did.
Prosecutor Coleen Balbert said Gooding has stayed out of trouble and completed six months of alcohol and behavior modification counseling, allowing him to withdraw his misdemeanor plea and plead guilty to a harassment violation.
Balbert said she has received “positive reports for the last six months” from Gooding’s therapist. The actor is continuing with treatment beyond the time required by his plea agreement, Balbert said.
Gooding, 54, faces no additional penalties and, by replacing his misdemeanor plea with a plea to a noncriminal violation, he will not have a criminal record.
Regardless of whether Gooding has reformed his creepy, sexual assault-loving ways and is truly trying to better himself, the news that he will not sit behind bars for his behavior is not likely to sit well with his alleged victims, including 31-year-old Kelsey Harbert, who said Gooding grabbed her breast “as if I was a piece of meat for dinner.”
“I feel very sad and feel very lost for what I can do,” Harbert said after hearing the news that Gooding was unlikely to ever sit behind bars for violating women.
Cases like these are why women often feel they have no recourse for finding justice after they’ve been sexually assaulted. Cuba’s story isn’t a deterrent if men know they can touch on a woman however they want and then take some classes for a few months to avoid prison.
Still, hopefully, the “Jerry McGuire” actor makes good on his pledge to keep his hands, lips, and, generally, all parts of his body off of women who have not consented to be touched by him.
Of course, putting him in jail would have ensured that—at least for a time.
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