Mario Batali's sexual misconduct trial resumes in...

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Mario Batali’s sexual misconduct trial resumes in…

Translated From: Mario Batali’s sexual misconduct trial resumes in…

Discovered on: 2022-05-10 07:09:08

Celebrity chef Mario Batali was found not guilty Tuesday by a judge in his sexual misconduct trial in Boston, which ended with closing arguments Tuesday afternoon.

Batali is charged with indecent assault and battery for a 2017 incident at a Back Bay restaurant. Boston Municipal Court Judge James Stanton found Batali not guilty, saying the complaining witness had “credibility issues” and found there was not enough evidence to find Batali guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Batali had nothing to say when he arrived at Boston Municipal Court for the second day of his trial that morning. He did not take the stand.

Batali’s sexual misconduct trial began Monday in Boston Municipal Court with her accuser recounting how she had been “shocked, surprised and alarmed” when the celebrity chef aggressively kissed and groped her while taking selfies at a restaurant in 2017.

The 32-year-old Boston-area software company worker said she felt confused and powerless to do anything to stop Batali.

“Everything was happening so fast and it was happening essentially all the time,” the woman testified at trial. “Just a lot of contact.”

The trial began Monday after Batali, in a surprise move, waived his right to a jury trial and opted to have a judge decide his fate.

The woman also testified that she felt embarrassed by the 2017 incident, until she saw other women step forward to share similar encounters with Batali.

Batali’s attorney, Anthony Fuller, argued that the assault never happened and that the accuser is not a credible witness and has a financial incentive to lie.

He also suggested that she joked about their encounter in text messages with friends and ate at Eataly, the Italian market once owned by Batali, after the encounter.

Batali pleaded not guilty to one count of indecent assault and battery in 2019, stemming from allegations that he forcibly kissed and groped a woman after taking a selfie with her at a Boston restaurant in 2017.

If convicted, Batali could face up to two and a half years in jail and will be required to register as a sex offender. He is expected to be in court throughout the proceedings, which should last about two days once jury selection is complete, Suffolk County District Attorney Kevin Hayden’s office said.

Batali’s attorneys had no comment before jury selection began Monday in Boston Municipal Court. The chef’s lawyers have previously said the charge is baseless.

The accuser also filed a civil suit against Batali seeking unspecified damages for “severe emotional distress” that is still pending in Suffolk County Superior Court in Boston. Her attorney did not respond to emails Friday.


Batali is among a number of high-profile men who have faced public prosecution during the #MeToo social movement against sexual abuse and harassment in recent years.

The 61-year-old was once a regular Food Network host on shows like “Molto Mario” and “Iron Chef America.” But the personality’s high-flying career came crashing down amid allegations of sexual misconduct.

Four women accused him of inappropriately touching them in 2017, after which he resigned from day-to-day operations at his restaurant empire and left ABC’s cooking show “The Chew.”

Batali has offered an apology, acknowledging that the accusations “match” the ways in which he has acted.

“I’ve made a lot of mistakes and I’m so sorry I let my friends, my family, my fans and my team down,” he said in an email newsletter at the time. “My behavior was wrong and there are no excuses. I take full responsibility.”


Last year, Batali, his business partner and his New York City restaurant company agreed to pay $600,000 to settle a four-year investigation by the New York attorney general’s office into allegations that Batali, restaurant managers and other workers sexually harassed employees.

In Boston, he opened a branch of the popular Eataly Italian food market in downtown Prudential Center in 2016, as well as a Babbo Pizzeria e Enoteca in the city’s Seaport District in 2015.

Batali has since been bought out of its stake in Eataly, which still has dozens of locations around the world, including in Boston, and the Babbo restaurant in the city has since closed.

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