BOSTON — Jury selection begins Monday in Mario Batali’s sexual misconduct trial.
The celebrity chef is charged with indecent assault and battery in connection with a 2017 incident at a Boston restaurant. Batali is accused of forcibly kissing and groping a woman after taking a selfie with her.
Batali faces a maximum sentence of 2.5 years in the Suffolk County Reformatory.
Batali’s lawyer said the accusation was “baseless”.
Batali was once a Food Network staple on shows like “Molto Mario” and “Iron Chef.” But the high-flying career of the personality wearing the orange ponytail and crocodile has crumbled amid allegations of sexual misconduct in recent years. After four women accused him of inappropriate touching in 2017, Batali quit the day-to-day operations of his restaurant empire and quit the since-suspended ABC cooking show “The Chew.”
Last July, Batali, his business partner, and their New York restaurant business agreed to pay $600,000 to resolve a four-year investigation by the New York Attorney General’s office into allegations which Batali, restaurant managers and other workers allegedly sexually harassed employees.
Jury selection in his trial begins Monday and is expected to last a day. The trial is expected to last two days.
The trial is being held in the Central Division of Boston City Court
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