Mario Batali, the celebrity chef who has been accused of sexual harassment and assault by multiple women, is now facing a criminal charge.
Batali will be arraigned on Friday on a charge of indecent assault and battery, The Associated Press reports. According to the criminal complaint, a woman alleges that in March 2017, she was taking a photo with Batali at a Boston restaurant when he grabbed her chest, The Boston Globe reports. She says he then began to kiss her and touch her groin without consent.
The New York Times notes that the allegation lines up with one previously made by Natali Tene, who in August filed a lawsuit against Batali.
“Without asking her permission or giving her any warning, and without having received any indication that she had any sexual interest in him whatsoever, which she did not, Batali sexually assaulted her," the woman's lawyers said in the civil complaint.
A lawyer for Batali said the charges are "without merit" and that he will "fight the allegations vigorously."
Batali first faced allegations of sexual misconduct from four women in an article published by Eater in December 2017, which led to his exit from the ABC show The Chew. Additional women later came forward with allegations of sexual assault. The New York Police Department last year investigated three allegations of sexual assault against Batali but closed its investigations in January, with two of the alleged incidents behind outside the statute of limitations and with police not obtaining enough evidence in the third investigation to bring a charge, the Times reports.
Israeli Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit intends to indict Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on corruption charges.
Netanyahu faces charges of bribery, fraud, and breach of trust, CNN reports. This, The Times of Israel writes, would be the first time in the history of Israel that a prime minister is hit with criminal charges while in office. The announcement comes ahead of the upcoming election on April 6, in which Netanyahu is running for another term.
Netanyahu is accused of taking bribes and offering favors in exchange for positive media coverage, Reuters writes. Police had previously recommended he be indicted, per NBC News, citing his "bribe-based relationship" with the telecommunications company Bezeq, as well as the findings in two additional corruption cases. Netanyahu has denied wrongdoing and called the lengthy investigations a "witch hunt." Brendan Morrow