PHILIP MARCEL – Associated Press
Boston (AP) – Renowned chef Mario Batali has waived his right to a jury trial and decided to have a judge decide his fate in a trial over sexual behavior in Boston.
Batali confirmed the decision of Boston Municipal Court Judge James Stanton when the trial began Monday morning.
Battles pleaded not guilty to charges of indecent assault and beating in 2019 because of allegations that he forcibly kissed and touched a woman after taking a selfie with her at a Boston restaurant in 2017. The woman says Batali noticed that she was photographing him, and invited her to photograph him together, then touched and kissed her several times without her consent.
If convicted, Batali could face up to two and a half years in prison and be required to register as a sex offender. He is expected to be on trial throughout the trial, which is expected to last about two days.
Batali’s lawyers did not comment before the trial began Monday at Boston Municipal Court. Earlier, the chef’s lawyers said that the accusation was unfounded.
His prosecutor also filed a lawsuit a lawsuit against Batali demanding unspecified damages for “severe emotional disorders” that are still pending in Suffolk County Supreme Court in Boston. Her lawyer said he and his client were leaving comments until the criminal case was completed.
Batali is one of a number of prominent men who in recent years have faced public violence during the #MeToo public movement against sexual violence and harassment.
Once a 61-year-old guy was a member of the Food Network on shows such as “Molto Mario” and “Iron Chef America”. But the career of a person wearing a ponytail and an orange crocodile has collapsed amid allegations of sexual abuse.
Four women accused him of inappropriate touching in 2017, after which he gave up everyday operations in his restaurant empire and left the discontinued ABC cooking show “The Chew”.
Batali apologized, admitting that the accusations “coincide” with the way he acted.
“I made a lot of mistakes and I am very sorry to have disappointed my friends, my family, my fans and my team,” he said in an e-mail at the time. “My behavior was wrong and there are no excuses. I take full responsibility. “
Last year, Batali, his business partner and their restaurant company in New York agreed to pay $ 600,000 to complete 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 Italian food platform Eataly at the Prudential Center in 2016, as well as the pizzeria Babbo e Enoteca in the city’s seaport area in 2015.
Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed without permission.