Celebrity chef Mario Batali facing assault charge in Boston

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BOSTON (AP) – Celebrity chef Mario Batali is facing a criminal charge on allegations that he forcibly kissed and groped a woman at a Boston restaurant in 2017.

The Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office says Batali is scheduled to be arraigned Friday on a charge of indecent assault and battery.

The Boston Globe reports that a criminal complaint filed last month says the woman told police that Batali invited her to take a selfie with him and then grabbed her chest, kissed her face and touched her groin without her consent.

The details in the complaint mirror those in a civil lawsuit filed against Batali in August. The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages for “severe emotional distress” including anxiety and self-doubt.

An attorney for Batali told the Globe that the chef denies the allegations. His lawyer didn’t immediately respond to an email from The Associated Press.

FILE – In this Wednesday, April 19, 2017, file photo, chef Mario Batali attends an awards event in New York. The Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office in Boston says Batali is scheduled to be arraigned Friday, May 24, 2019, on a charge of indecent assault and battery, in connection with an allegation that he forcibly kissed and groped a woman at a Boston restaurant in 2017. (Photo by Brent N. Clarke/Invision/AP, File)
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