Mario Batali Found Not Guilty of Indecent Assault and Battery Case
Celebrity chef Mario Batali has been found not guilty of indecent assault and battery stemming from an alleged 2017 incident.
According to multiple reports, the Boston Municipal Court Judge announced his ruling on Tuesday and agreed with the defense team's argument that the accuser had credibility issues. The trial lasted all of two days after Batali on Monday waived his right to a jury trial, meaning his fate was in the hands of the judge.
Among the issues that stymied the accuser's credibility is that Batali's lawyer pointed to the accuser's recent admission of trying to avoid jury duty by claiming to be psychic. The accuser was also accused of violating the judge's orders to keep an open mind and not discuss the case with others.
Batali, who left the courtroom without speaking to reporters, had been facing up to two and a half years behind bars if he was convicted. He also would have been required to register as a sex offender.
The Food Network chef pleaded not guilty to the charge back in 2019. The accuser claimed Batali forcibly kissed and groped her while taking a selfie at a Boston restaurant in 2017. He denied the allegations.
Following a wave of sexual misconduct allegations, Batali was fired from his ABC show The Chew in December 2017. Just days later, Batali issued what appeared to be a heartfelt apology, before bizarrely suggesting a recipe for a "holiday-inspired breakfast."
Batali became a household name through appearances on such Food Network shows as "Iron Chef America" as well as world-renowned eateries that stretched from New York City, Los Angeles and Singapore.
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