Chef Mario Batali on trial in Boston sexual misconduct case

Mario Batali

BOSTON (AP) — Celebrity chef Mario Batali’s pandemic-delayed sexual misconduct trial is opening in Boston.

Batali has pleaded not guilty to a charge of indecent assault and battery.

The case involves allegations he forcibly kissed and groped a woman at a Boston restaurant in 2017 after inviting her to take a selfie together.

Lawyers for Batali and his accuser didn’t comment ahead of trial.

Jury selection begins Monday. His lawyers previously said the charge is without merit.

If convicted, Batali could face up to 2 1/2 years in jail, and have to register as a sex offender.

Once a Food Network fixture, Batali’s career crumbled amid sexual misconduct allegations.

Four women accused him of inappropriate touching in 2017.

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