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Celebrity Chef Mario Batali Facing Assault Charge In Boston

Lawyers for a woman who says Mario Batali forcibly kissed and groped her in a Boston restaurant in 2017 say the celebrity chef "must be held accountable ... for his despicable acts."

In this Wednesday, April 19, 2017, file photo, chef Mario Batali attends an awards event in New York. (Brent N. Clarke/Invision/AP)
In this Wednesday, April 19, 2017, file photo, chef Mario Batali attends an awards event in New York. (Brent N. Clarke/Invision/AP)

The lawyers said in a statement released Thursday that Batali abused his celebrity status to entice her and that she is "grateful" prosecutors have decided to go forward with the case.

It's the first criminal charge against Batali resulting from several sexual harassment and assault allegations that crippled his career amid the #MeToo movement.

The 58-year-old Batali recently gave up financial stakes in all his restaurants. He is scheduled to be arraigned Friday on a charge of indecent assault and battery.

A lawyer for Batali says the chef denies the allegations and expects to be vindicated.

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