News & Opinion | May 23, 2019 9:16 am

Mario Batali Faces First Criminal Charges From Sexual Misconduct Accusations

Batali could face 2.5 years in jail and would have to register as a sex offender, if convicted

Mario Batali
Mario Batali will be arraigned on Friday. (John Lamparski/ WireImage)

Disgraced celebrity chef and restauranteur Mario Batali has been charged with indecent assault and battery for allegedly kissing and groping a woman against her will in a Boston restaurant in 2017.

The charges are the first to stem from the slew of sexual harassment and assault allegations that were lobbed against Batali in a comprehensive investigation published by Eater in December 2017. Batali, 58, is expected to appear in in Boston Municipal Court on Friday morning for his arraignment, according to the Boston Globe.

Although Batali’s accuser’s name has been redacted from court documents obtained by the Globe, the incident referenced in the paperwork matches that of a woman who filed a civil suit in Massachusetts against the chef this past August.

The woman said she saw Batali at Towne Stove and Spirits, a Back Bay area restaurant, in March 2017 where he offered to take a selfie with her after she tried to snap a photo of him. “Come here right now,” the woman alleges Batali said to her before posing next to her for the picture and grabbing her chest. He then started kissing her face and touching her groin without her consent, she said.

The woman said that she tried to pull away but that he kept “pulling on her face” and asked her if she wanted to go with him to his nearby hotel room. She claims that Batali appeared drunk “by the smell and half closed eyes.”

“Without asking her permission or giving her any warning, and without having received any indication that she had any sexual interest in him whatsoever, which she did not, Batali sexually assaulted her,” the woman’s lawyers wrote in a civil complaint.

Batali could face 2.5 years in jail and would have to register as a sex offender, if convicted.

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