Mario Batali acquitted in sexual misconduct trial

Celebrity chef and television personality Mario Batali was acquitted Tuesday in Boston of sexual misconduct.

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Update 2:33 p.m. EDT May 10: Judge James Stanton said the Commonwealth did not meet its burden of proof but did note that 61-year-old Batali “did not cover himself in glory” in this case, WFXT-TV reported.

“He has paid a high cost in terms of diminished reputation,” Stanton said.

A woman accused the former Food Network stalwart of forcibly kissing and groping her while taking a selfie at a restaurant in 2017, which Batali denied.

Batali, who faced indecent assault and battery charges, waived his right to a jury trial, leaving his fate in Stanton’s hands, according to The Associated Press.

Original report: Both the defense and prosecution rested their arguments in the case against celebrity chef and television personality Mario Batali. Batali is accused of sexual misconduct and is on trial in Boston.

Batali had waived his right to a jury trial on Monday, so a judge will issue his decision Tuesday afternoon, WFXT reported.

The former Food Network star was accused of kissing and groping a woman as she tried to get a selfie with Batali while they were at a Boston bar in 2017.

The woman testified she felt confused, powerless and embarrassed to share what happened, but she decided to report what happened when other women made similar allegations, The Associated Press reported.

The defense did not call witnesses and Batali did not testify, the AP reported. But his lawyers did argue that the alleged assault did not happen, but instead the woman had a financial incentive to lie, as she has filed a more than $50,000 civil lawsuit against Batali.

Batali had pleaded not guilty to indecent assault and battery. He faces up to 2 1/2 years in jail and may be required to register as a sex offender, the AP reported.


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