Boston chef Mario Batali’s sexual misconduct trial begins

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Celebrity chef Mario Batali’s sexual misconduct trial begins in Boston on Monday, following a delay caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Batali’s accuser claims she was taking photos of him at a Boston restaurant in 2017 when he invited her to take a picture together. At that time, she alleges that he touched her without her consent and then forcibly kissed her.

The famous Italian chef was later charged with indecent assault and assault.

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While the former ‘Iron Chef’ star pleaded not guilty to the charges in 2019, he said the alleged actions “fit” his behavior at the time.

Celebrity chef Mario Batali is charged with indecent assault and assault in Boston City Court on May 24, 2019, in Boston. Batali’s trial will take place on April 11, 2022.
(David L Ryan/The Boston Globe via AP, Pool, File)

“I made a lot of mistakes and I’m so sorry for disappointing my friends, my family, my fans and my team,” he said at the time, The Associated Press reported. “My behavior was wrong and there is no excuse. I take full responsibility.”

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His attorney previously said the 2019 allegation was “baseless”.

Celebrity chef Mario Batali, center left, departs after pleading not guilty, Friday, May 24, 2019, in Boston Municipal Court in Boston.  Batali's trial is set for April 11, 2022, after he was charged with indecent assault and battery for allegedly forcibly kissing and groping a woman at a Boston restaurant in 2017.
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Celebrity chef Mario Batali, center left, departs after pleading not guilty, Friday, May 24, 2019, in Boston Municipal Court in Boston. Batali’s trial is set for April 11, 2022, after he was charged with indecent assault and battery for allegedly forcibly kissing and groping a woman at a Boston restaurant in 2017.
(AP Photo/Josh Reynolds, File)

Immediately after the allegations surfaced in 2017, Batali quit active management of his restaurants and quit his cooking shows.

Batali will appear in Boston City Court on Monday and could face up to 2.5 years in prison if convicted. A guilty conviction would also require Batali to register as a sex offender.

Celebrity chef Mario Batali leaves Boston City Court on arraignment of indecent assault and battery in connection with a 2017 incident at a Back Bay restaurant on May 24 2019 in Boston, MA.

Celebrity chef Mario Batali leaves Boston City Court on arraignment of indecent assault and battery in connection with a 2017 incident at a Back Bay restaurant on May 24 2019 in Boston, MA.
(Scott Eisen/Getty Images)

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Last year, Batali, his business partner, and their New York restaurant business settled with the New York Attorney General’s office, after a four-year investigation into allegations of misconduct between restaurant management and their employees, and agreed to pay $600,000.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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