The Boston trial of celebrity chef Mario Batali is set to start next month. He’s been charged with indecent assault and battery, stemming back to accusations from 2017.
"Another thing that’s unusual about this case is that the encounter was captured on video and still pictures," said defense attorney Alexandra Bailey.
Attorneys for Batali and the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office appeared in court Monday to deal with a number of motions related to the trial, including witnesses, details about the alleged victim’s background that will be admitted at trial and her text messages.
"That’s not all the victim says. She also talks about being emotionally affected by this, by being the face for all these other women who have suffered similar assault by the defendant,” said Suffolk County ADA Nina Bonelli.
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Batali is accused of forcibly kissing and groping the woman after taking a selfie with her at a Boston restaurant. He pleaded not guilty to the accusation in 2019.
The incident is said to have occurred in a now defunct restaurant in the Back Bay near next Eataly, the restaurant he opened in the Prudential Center. Batali has since given up his financial interest in his various establishments following other accusations of sexual harassment involving himself and for the kind of work treatment his employees endured in the workplace.
Attorneys for Batali declined to comment Monday afternoon. They are set to return to court later this month for at least one more hearing. The trial is set to begin on May 9.