Celebrity Chef Mario Batali Acquitted Of Sexual Misconduct
Celebrity chef Mario Batali is seated at Boston Municipal Court on the second day of his sexual misconduct trial on Tuesday, May 10, 2022 in Boston. Batali pleaded not-guilty to a charge of indecent assault and battery in 2019, stemming from accusations that he forcibly kissed and groped a woman after taking a selfie with her at a Boston restaurant in 2017. (Stuart Cahill/The Boston Herald via AP, Pool)

BOSTON (AP) – Celebrity chef Mario Batali has been cleared of sexual misconduct following a criminal trial in Boston.

A woman had accused Batali of forcibly kissing and groping her while taking a selfie at a restaurant in 2017.

Batali’s lawyer argued that the Boston assault never happened and said the accuser has a financial incentive to lie.

The judge found him not guilty on Tuesday.

The chef had waived his right to a jury trial.

Batali had faced indecent assault and battery charges, which carried up to 2 1/2 years in prison.

Batali’s accuser has filed a lawsuit that’s pending.

The career of the 61-year-old former Food Network fixture crumbled amid sexual misconduct allegations from four women in 2017.

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