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.