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.

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