The 52-year-old actor faces three charges of playing hard and three counts of third-degree sexual abuse related to three separate incidents in New York. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Prosecutors asked the court to allow evidence of 19 incidents of alleged non-charged conduct in the case to establish a pattern of behavior. Judge Curtis Farber ruled that only two of those witnesses will be able to testify.
Prosecutors say witness testimony shows that Gooding has demonstrated a pattern of intentionally touching women’s body parts, although he is aware that they do not give their consent.
This type of testimony, generally known as witnesses of “previous bad acts” and known as “Molineux” evidence in New York, can help prosecutors show a pattern of intentional behavior. They are particularly useful in cases of sexual assault with limited forensic evidence.
Gooding’s criminal trial is scheduled for April 21. The lawyers will meet on January 29 for a hearing on a motion for a protection order filed by the prosecution, but Gooding does not need to appear in court for that.
On Wednesday, Gooding and his lawyer arrived 30 minutes late to court and the judge questioned them about their delay. Attorney Mark Heller said there was a traffic jam and the judge suggested they leave earlier next time.