Disgraced celebrity chef Mario Batali will face a charge of indecent assault and battery after an incident in March 2017, the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office told NBC 10 Boston. This seems to be the first criminal charge to arise from the series of sprawling investigations into the chef's alleged misconduct; the NYPD confirmed in January of this year that it would not pursue sexual assault charges against the chef after three separate investigations.
The DA's office did not name the victim or the location of the alleged assault, but the description of Batali's alleged behavior matches language an accuser told Eater in May 2018, as well as a civil lawsuit filed in August 2018 in Suffolk Superior Court. The suit accuses Batali of having “grabbed and kissed [the accuser]’s face, rubbed her breasts, grabbed her buttocks, put his hands between her legs and groped her groin area, and kept forcefully squeezing her face into his as he kissed her repeatedly.”
The chef has surrendered his stake in his restaurants, and as of March was in the process of selling his remaining shares in the supermarket chain Eataly. If convicted, he faces 2.5 years in jail and would have to register as a sex offender.
VICE has previously worked with Batali on the series Moltissimo and he has appeared on other MUNCHIES shows. He also wrote the foreword to the MUNCHIES cookbook.
This article originally appeared on VICE US.