Mario Batali to Face Indecent Assault and Battery Charges for Allegedly Groping and Kissing Woman

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Mario Batali to Face Indecent Assault and Battery Charges for Allegedly Groping and Kissing Woman
<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Mario Batali is once again facing allegations of assault.” data-reactid=”31″>Mario Batali is once again facing allegations of assault.

On Friday, the chef, 58, will be arraigned in Boston Municipal Court on charges of indecent assault and battery in connection with a March 2017 incident at a restaurant in the Back Bay are of Boston, Massachusetts, the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office confirms to PEOPLE.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="The criminal charges against Batali stem from a series of allegations from a woman, who claims the chef kissed and groped her without consent two years ago, according to The Boston Globe.” data-reactid=”33″>The criminal charges against Batali stem from a series of allegations from a woman, who claims the chef kissed and groped her without consent two years ago, according to The Boston Globe.

In a statement to the outlet, Batali’s attorney, Anthony Fuller of Hogan Lovells Law, denied the allegations and expressed Batali’s intent to fight them.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="“The charges, brought by the same individual without any new basis, are without merit,” Fuller told The Boston Globe. “He intends to fight the allegations vigorously and we expect the outcome to fully vindicate Mr. Batali.”” data-reactid=”35″>“The charges, brought by the same individual without any new basis, are without merit,” Fuller told The Boston Globe. “He intends to fight the allegations vigorously and we expect the outcome to fully vindicate Mr. Batali.”

Fuller did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

Mario Batali | Madison McGaw/BFA/REX/ShutterstockMario Batali | Madison McGaw/BFA/REX/Shutterstock

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Mario Batali | Madison McGaw/BFA/REX/Shutterstock

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="RELATED:&nbsp;Mario Batali Says ‘It’s Been a Bad Year’ But ‘I’m a Lucky Man’ One Year After Allegations of Sexual Misconduct” data-reactid=”57″>RELATED: Mario Batali Says ‘It’s Been a Bad Year’ But ‘I’m a Lucky Man’ One Year After Allegations of Sexual Misconduct

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="In the criminal complaint also obtained by The Boston Globe, the woman said she saw Batali at Towne Stove and Spirits, near Eataly Boston — an Italian restaurant Batali once held shares in — and attempted to take a photo of him.” data-reactid=”58″>In the criminal complaint also obtained by The Boston Globe, the woman said she saw Batali at Towne Stove and Spirits, near Eataly Boston — an Italian restaurant Batali once held shares in — and attempted to take a photo of him.

When Batali noticed, the woman said he allegedly called her over and she thought he would reprimand her or ask her to delete it.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Instead, as set out in court records obtained by The Boston Globe, Batali allegedly put his arm around her, grabbed her chest, touched her groin, and then began to kiss her face all without consent.” data-reactid=”60″>Instead, as set out in court records obtained by The Boston Globe, Batali allegedly put his arm around her, grabbed her chest, touched her groin, and then began to kiss her face all without consent.

The woman reportedly alleged that Batali, who appeared to be intoxicated “by the smell and half-closed eyes” kept “pulling on her face” and asked her to come to his nearby hotel.

She said she declined his advances and left with a friend. If convicted, Batali faces a 2½-year sentence in jail and would be required to register as a sex offender, according to the outlet.

The woman made similar allegations in a civil lawsuit she filed in August 2018.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="“Without asking her permission or giving her any warning, and without having received any indication that she had any sexual interest in him whatsoever, which she did not, Batali sexually assaulted her,” the woman’s lawyers wrote in the civil complaint, according to The Boston Globe.” data-reactid=”64″>“Without asking her permission or giving her any warning, and without having received any indication that she had any sexual interest in him whatsoever, which she did not, Batali sexually assaulted her,” the woman’s lawyers wrote in the civil complaint, according to The Boston Globe.

Mario Batali | Craig Barritt/GettyMario Batali | Craig Barritt/Getty

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Mario Batali | Craig Barritt/Getty
<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="RELATED:&nbsp;Mario Batali Will Not Face Charges Over Sexual Assault Allegations: Reports” data-reactid=”87″>RELATED: Mario Batali Will Not Face Charges Over Sexual Assault Allegations: Reports

This isn’t the first time that Batali has been accused of sexual assault.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="As&nbsp;first reported by&nbsp;Eater&nbsp;in December 2017, the&nbsp;former&nbsp;The Chew&nbsp;co-host was&nbsp;accused of groping by several different women&nbsp;during incidents which involved “inappropriate touching in a pattern of behavior that spans at least two decades.”” data-reactid=”89″>As first reported by Eater in December 2017, the former The Chew co-host was accused of groping by several different women during incidents which involved “inappropriate touching in a pattern of behavior that spans at least two decades.”

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="One of the women&nbsp;accused Batali of drugging and sexually assaulting her while she was unconscious in 2005.” data-reactid=”90″>One of the women accused Batali of drugging and sexually assaulting her while she was unconscious in 2005.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="“I woke up by myself on the floor, I don’t know where I am, of an empty room, wooden floor,”&nbsp;said the woman, who told&nbsp;60 Minutes&nbsp;that she was an employee at Batali’s New York City restaurant Babbo at the time. “I see broken bottles. The first thing I think is, ‘I’ve been drugged.’ That was the first thing I thought is, ‘I’ve been — I’ve been assaulted.’”” data-reactid=”91″>“I woke up by myself on the floor, I don’t know where I am, of an empty room, wooden floor,” said the woman, who told 60 Minutes that she was an employee at Batali’s New York City restaurant Babbo at the time. “I see broken bottles. The first thing I think is, ‘I’ve been drugged.’ That was the first thing I thought is, ‘I’ve been — I’ve been assaulted.’”

Mario Batali | Carolyn Kaster/APMario Batali | Carolyn Kaster/AP

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Mario Batali | Carolyn Kaster/AP

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="RELATED:&nbsp;Giada De Laurentiis Opens Up About Her Friendship with Mario Batali Following Sexual Misconduct Allegations” data-reactid=”112″>RELATED: Giada De Laurentiis Opens Up About Her Friendship with Mario Batali Following Sexual Misconduct Allegations

At the time, the chef admitted to acting inappropriately but denied ever sexually assaulting anyone.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="“I apologize to the people I have mistreated and hurt,” Batali said in a statement to&nbsp;Eater about the accusations. “Although the identities of most of the individuals mentioned in these stories have not been revealed to me, much of the behavior described does, in fact, match up with ways I have acted.”” data-reactid=”114″>“I apologize to the people I have mistreated and hurt,” Batali said in a statement to Eater about the accusations. “Although the identities of most of the individuals mentioned in these stories have not been revealed to me, much of the behavior described does, in fact, match up with ways I have acted.”

“That behavior was wrong and there are no excuses. I take full responsibility and am deeply sorry for any pain, humiliation or discomfort I have caused to my peers, employees, customers, friends and family,” he added.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="When the&nbsp;60 Minutes&nbsp;allegation surfaced, Batali also responded: “I vehemently deny the allegation that I sexually assaulted this woman. My past behavior has been deeply inappropriate and I am sincerely remorseful for my actions.”” data-reactid=”116″>When the 60 Minutes allegation surfaced, Batali also responded: “I vehemently deny the allegation that I sexually assaulted this woman. My past behavior has been deeply inappropriate and I am sincerely remorseful for my actions.”

Mario Batali | Craig Sjodin/GettyMario Batali | Craig Sjodin/Getty

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Mario Batali | Craig Sjodin/Getty

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="RELATED: Mario Batali Leaves Restaurant Empire Over a Year After Sexual Assault Allegations Surface” data-reactid=”137″>RELATED: Mario Batali Leaves Restaurant Empire Over a Year After Sexual Assault Allegations Surface

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="In January, NYPD officials closed three sexual assault investigations involving the chef, telling the New York Times, “the charges in two of the case were beyond the New York State statute of limitations, which was lifted in 2006, but not made retroactive,” while the third allegation was dropped due to lack of criminal evidence.” data-reactid=”138″>In January, NYPD officials closed three sexual assault investigations involving the chef, telling the New York Times, “the charges in two of the case were beyond the New York State statute of limitations, which was lifted in 2006, but not made retroactive,” while the third allegation was dropped due to lack of criminal evidence.

At the time, the NYPD declined to comment to PEOPLE on the specifics of any particular investigation.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="More than a year after the initial allegations surfaced, Batali stepped away from his restaurant empire&nbsp;— including his high-profile eateries across the globe like Babbo and Del Posto in New York City — and sold all of his shares in Eataly, an Italian marketplace/restaurant chain.” data-reactid=”140″>More than a year after the initial allegations surfaced, Batali stepped away from his restaurant empire — including his high-profile eateries across the globe like Babbo and Del Posto in New York City — and sold all of his shares in Eataly, an Italian marketplace/restaurant chain.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="The chef’s longtime business partner Joe Bastianich and sister Tanya Bastianich Manuali informed Batali &amp; Bastianich Hospitality Group staffers in a letter that Batali’s involvement was done after 20 years, according to the&nbsp;New York Times.” data-reactid=”141″>The chef’s longtime business partner Joe Bastianich and sister Tanya Bastianich Manuali informed Batali & Bastianich Hospitality Group staffers in a letter that Batali’s involvement was done after 20 years, according to the New York Times.

“[Batali] will no longer profit from the restaurants in any way, shape or form,” Manuali reportedly wrote in the letter, which was issued in March.

Batali also confirmed the news, telling PEOPLE in a statement: “I have reached an agreement with Joe and no longer have any stake in the restaurants we built together. I wish him the best of luck in the future.”