Celebrity chef Mario Batali opts for a last-minute trial without a jury in his sexual misconduct case

Celebrity Chef Shame Mario Batali He stunned a Boston courtroom on Monday when a judge was asked to waive his right to a jury in a criminal trial over an allegation of sexual assault.

Minutes later, the accused took a stand, describing a selfie near his since-closed Boston restaurant that slipped into a nightmare of groping and non-sensual kissing.

Batali, ex food web , confirmed his decision that Boston Municipal Court Judge James Stanton decide his fate before jury selection begins on Monday. The 61-year-old has pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor charge of indecent assault and battery in an accident in 2017.

“Sure,” Batali told Stanton on Monday, noting that he understood what he was doing.

Natalie Tenney – who previously registered under her own name as an alleged sexual assault victim – soon began to claim how what began as a surreptitious photograph of Batali on April 1, 2017, ended in a crime.

Tinny told the judge that the incident started after Batali noticed she was taking his picture and invited her to take a picture together.

When she described taking about 10 selfies with Batali, she said the chef started groping her out of sight of the camera. She also said that Patali’s eyes were closed in the majority of the photos, and claimed that “this guy is lost” at the time.

“While this was happening, his hands were in sensitive areas, he touched me, he touched my body, so it was like taking a selfie, but there were other things going on simultaneously,” Tenny told the court, noting that Patali kept telling her to “take another picture.” One.”

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Tine added that Batali “caught me somehow… I’ve never been touched like that before,” she said, noting that he was “squeezing” her vagina.

She added, “There was touching my breast, touching my back end … touching my face … and his tongue in my ear,” noting that as the alleged assault took place, “I was really shocked, stunned, stunned.”

“It was happening a lot.”

Batali has vehemently denied the criminal behaviour, although at least four women have come out against the former TV chef and accused him of sexual misconduct.

During questioning, defense attorney Anthony Fuller questioned Tenney about whether she continued to take pictures with Batali despite the alleged assault.

Tenny admitted there was a three-minute gap between some of the photos. However, she insisted that she was shocked by the whole encounter, she noted that in one of the close-up photos of the couple, Batali was “grabbing my ass in this photo”.

“That didn’t happen. There was no indecent assault. Eventually, you’ll realize she wasn’t telling the truth,” Fuller said during his opening statement.

Prosecutors allege Batali assaulted Tene while she was standing with her at Towne Stove and Spirits in Boston. The bar that has since closed was located near the local outpost of Italy, the once partially owned Italian chain of Batali.

The photos – and Tenny’s face – were not shown to the public on Monday to protect her identity, despite her being identified by name in court.

“As he pulled her face in his face, kissing her, his right hand touched her chest, butt, and thighs,” Assistant Prosecutor Nina Bonelli said during the opening argument.

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Tine also filed a civil lawsuit against Batali, alleging that the accident resulted in “extreme psychological distress”. She is just one of several women who have accused Batali of misconduct, which forced the restaurateur to step down his empire and leave the ABC cooking show. and chew.

“I have made many mistakes and I am very sorry to have disappointed my friends, family, fans and my team,” Batali said in a December 2017 newsletter, amid the mounting accusations. “My behavior was wrong and there are no excuses. I take full responsibility.”

A year later, a The New York Times and CBS’ 60 minutes Both reported sexual assault allegations against Batali. The New York Police Department, however, said times At that time they closed the investigations into Batali because they did not have enough evidence to arrest him.

Since the allegations, Batali has largely been purged as the face of a nationwide restaurant empire. In 2019, the chef revealed that several people, including longtime partner Joe Bastianich, have bought his share In broad business.

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