Chef Mario Bartali acquitted of sexual assault charges

Mario Batali was acquitted of charges of obscene assault and battery on Tuesday following an expedited trial in which a celebrity chef gave up his right to let a jury decide his fate. Bartali, who pleaded not guilty In 2019, I was sexually assaulted and beaten, faced with imprisonment of up to two and a half years and had to register as a sex offender if convicted.

Bartali’s accuser testimony On Monday, she said a 61-year-old ex-Food Network individual aggressively kissed and groped her while taking a selfie at a Boston restaurant in 2017, telling her that she was “shocked, surprised, surprised.”

A 32-year-old software company employee said he felt confused and helpless when Bartali touched him without his consent. She also filed a pending lawsuit in Boston’s Suffolk County Superior Court alleging that Batali’s attorney gave her a financial incentive to lie to her.

sexual assault mario bartali
Celebrity chef Mario Batali reacts after being acquitted of obscenity and battery charges by a Boston City Court on Tuesday, May 10, 2022 in Boston.

Stuart Cahill / AP

Batali is one of those celebrities who have been criticized by the public during the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment and bullying in recent years.

In 2017, after four women accused him of inappropriate contact, he stepped down from day-to-day operations in his restaurant empire and stepped down from the subsequently discontinued ABC culinary show “The Chew.”

Batali also apologized, acknowledging the charges “consistent” with his own behavior.

“I made a lot of mistakes,” he said in an email newsletter at the time. “My actions are wrong and there is no excuse. All responsibility lies with me.”

The trial began on Monday, astonishingly, as Batali gave up her right to a jury trial and instead chose a judge to decide his fate.

Batali’s lawyer admitted that the Boston assault never occurred and that the accuser was not a credible witness, and that the woman recently attempted to evade jury service by claiming to have clairvoyance. She was also charged with violating a judge’s order not to remain open minded in the case and not discuss the case with others.

In announcing the verdict, Boston City Court Judge James Stanton agreed with the allegation that the complainant’s credibility was questionable. The complainant and Bartali left the courtroom without speaking to the reporters.

Batali was once fixed on shows like “Molto Mario” and “Iron Chef America”. However, the character’s high flying career in a ponytail and orange crocodile was ruined by sexual misconduct allegations.

Last year, Batali and his business partners and a New York City restaurant company agreed to pay $600,000 to settle a four-year investigation by the New York Attorney General into allegations that Batali and other employees sexually harassed an employee.

In Boston, he opened two popular Italian food markets, Eataly and Babbo Pizzeria e Enoteca, in the Seaport District. However, he later sold his stake in Eataly and closed the Babbo restaurant in Boston.


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