Former The Chew co-host Mario Batali has been found not guilty of indecent assault and battery, reports the Associated Press. The chef had waived his right to a jury trial, which arose from allegations emerged that he groped and kissed a woman while taking a selfie in 2017.
Boston Municipal Court Judge James Stanton commented that the accuser had issues of credibility and that images of the encounter suggested there was no harassment. He said:
Pictures are worth a thousand words.
Prosecutors argued that Batali was evidently intoxicated at the time of the photo. With regards to the chef's conduct, Stanton added:
It’s an understatement to say that Mr. Batali did not cover himself in glory on the night in question. His conduct, his appearance and his demeanor were not befitting of a public person of his stature at that time.
Suffolk County District Attorney Kevin Hayden stated in response to the decision:
It can be incredibly difficult for a victim to disclose a sexual assault. When the individual who committed such an abhorrent act is in a position of power or celebrity, the decision to report an assault can become all the more challenging and intimidating.