Mario Batali Pleads Not Guilty to Criminal Charges in Boston

Mario Batali faces criminal charges for alleged Boston assault

The woman who claims Mario Batali forcibly groped and kissed her at a Boston restaurant in 2017 said Thursday that Batali "must be held accountable" for "his despicable acts". The Boston Globe reports that Batali has been charged with indecent assault and battery, and plead not guilty to the charges on Friday morning in Boston Municipal Court.

But the charges include allegations in a civil case against Batali filed last August by a MA woman named Natali Tene, 28, who was claiming damages for an unspecified amount.

"The charges, brought by the same individual without any new basis, are without merit", attorney Anthony Fuller said. "He intends to fight the allegations vigorously and we expect to fully vindicate Mr. Batali".

Batali, 58, formerly owned several restaurants around the world and is known for his appearances on the Food Network.

A lawyer representing Batali denies the charges of indecent assault and battery.

No additional information was immediately available.

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Mario Batali at the Boston Eataly.

The lawyers noted that the criminal charges brought against Batali are independent of Tene's ongoing civil lawsuit, which was brought against the chef back in August.

The woman, whose identity has not been revealed in criminal filings, told the police she approached Batali and asked him to pose with her for a selfie.

The same woman filed a lawsuit against Batali previous year, alleging she asked the chef for a photo and he tried to kiss her, put his hands between her legs and groped her breasts, according to the Boston Globe. The three additional women claimed that Batali assaulted them in restaurants that he owns, with one coming forward with rape allegations from almost a decade ago. Following the allegations, all four men have stepped away from their food service duties with Batali selling his stakes in 16 restaurants. "My behaviour was wrong and there are no excuses". Police say the woman told them she was eating dinner with a friend at Towne Stove and Spirits when she spotted the recognizable Batali at the bar.

Batali has apologized for his behavior but drew scorn for attaching a cinnamon roll recipe to the statement professing his remorse.

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