Sexual Misconduct Trial Of Celebrity Chef Mario Batali Is Set To Begin In Boston

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Jury selection gets underway Monday in the trial of Mario Batali on a sexual misconduct charge.

The celebrity chef is accused of indecent assault and battery connected to 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 House of Correction.

Batali’s lawyer has said the charge is “without merit.”

Batali was once a Food Network fixture on shows like “Molto Mario” and “Iron Chef. But the ponytail- and orange Croc-wearing personality’s high-flying career crumbled amid sexual misconduct allegations in recent years. After four women accused him of inappropriate touching in 2017, Batali stepped down from day-to-day operations at his restaurant empire and left the since-discontinued ABC cooking show “The Chew.”

Mario Batali pleads not guilty to indecent assault & battery charge

Last July, Batali, his business partner, and their New York City restaurant company agreed to pay $600,000 to resolve a four-year investigation by the New York attorney general’s office into allegations that Batali, restaurant managers, and other workers sexually harassed employees.

Jury selection in his trial begins Monday and is expected to last one day. The trial is expected to last two days.

The trial is taking place in the Central Division of Boston Municipal Court