Defense and prosecution attorneys rested on day two of celebrity chef Mario Batali’s sexual misconduct trial in Boston
BOSTON — Defense and prosecution attorneys rested on Tuesday during celebrity chef Mario Batali’s sexual misconduct trial in Boston.
The second day of the Boston City Court trial resumed with testimony from a friend of the woman who said the former Food Network star kissed and groped her as she attempted to take a selfie in a Boston bar in 2017.
The defense did not call any witnesses and Batali did not testify for his defence. The lawyers are expected to present their closing arguments later on Tuesday and the case will be handed over to the judge for a verdict.
In an unusual move, Batali waived his right to a jury trial when the proceedings opened on Monday.
The accuser of Batali, a 32-year-old software company employee, testified on Monday that she felt confused, helpless and embarrassed to share her story until other women came forward to share. similar encounters with Batali.
But Batali’s lawyer sought to discredit her, arguing that the attack never happened.
He said the accuser had a financial incentive to lie because she was seeking more than $50,000 in damages from Batali in a separate civil suit.
Batali, who pleaded not guilty to indecent assault and battery in 2019, could face up to 2.5 years in prison and be required to register as a sex offender if convicted.
The 61-year-old, who once appeared on shows like ‘Molto Mario’ and ‘Iron Chef America’, is among a number of high profile men who have faced public judgment during the social movement #MeToo against sexual abuse. and harassment in recent years.