Celebrity chef Mario Batali faces a criminal charge for an alleged groping incident two years ago. Batali is scheduled to be arraigned in Boston Friday on a single count of indecent assault and battery. This appears to be the first criminal charge to come from a series of sexual misconduct allegations against Batali.
According to a civil complaint filed last summer, the 58-year-old chef allegedly assaulted a woman in a Boston restaurant in 2017. The woman accused Batali of forcibly kissing and groping her while taking a selfie. A lawyer for Batali says he denies the allegations.
Batali could face two and a half years in jail if convicted, and would have to register as a sex offender. In March, Batali sold his stake in all of his restaurants. The first misconduct accusations surfaced in 2017. At the time, Batali apologized and said he was taking "full responsibility" for his behavior but also drew backlash for including a recipe for a pizza dough cinnamon roll recipe in his apology letter.
Following a 60 Minutes report, the NYPD confirmed it was investigating allegations Batali drugged and sexually assaulted a woman.
Batali denied assaulting her. New York police closed their investigations in January without filing any charges.
(This story was originally published by CBS News on May 23 at 7:52 a.m. PT)
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