Disgraced celebrity chef Mario Batali on Tuesday was found not guilty of indecent battery and assault after a criminal trial that lasted less than two days.

Batali was facing the charges over a 2017 incident in which he was accused of groping a woman at a bar in Boston.

“Its an understatement to say that Mr. Batali did not cover himself in glory on the night in question. His conduct and his appearance and demeanor were not befitting on a public person of his stature at that time,” the judge said before announcing his decision. 

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The 61-year-old would have faced up to two and a half years in prison and would have been required to register as a sex offender if found guilty.

On Monday, he waived his right to a jury, leaving his fate in the hands of Judge James Stanton, who ultimately said that “this case is about credibility,” and accuser Natali Tene “has significant credibility issues.” 

Tene, 32, testified on Monday that Batali non-consensually kissed her, rubbed her breasts, grabbed her behind and put his hands between her legs while taking selfies at an eatery Towne Stove and Spirits in 2017. The eatery is not functional anymore.

The restaurateur was “grabbing me in a way that I was never touched before,” she told the court.

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“It was all happening so quickly and it was happening essentially the whole time,” she testified. “Just a lot of touching.” She added that Batali invited her back to his hotel that evening but that she didn’t go.

In his closing arguments Tuesday, Batali’s lawyer said Tene brought the charges against his client to make money and exploit the #MeToo movement. He also said that she has a financial incentive to lie because of her pending civil lawsuit seeking more than $50,000 in damages from Batali.

“The photos and videos do not lie, they do not have the financial motive to lie, but Ms. Tene does,” Batali’s lawyer Anthony Fuller said of the selfies taken during the April 1, 2017, incident.

Batali became a star as the host of one of Food Network’s first hit TV shows, Molto Mario. He is the force behind Batali & Bastianich Hospitality Group along with Joe Bastianich and Lidia Bastianich.

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Batali is the author of numerous cookbooks. He is also the face of nationally distributed jarred pasta sauces and other kitchen products.

After the claims against Batali surfaced, the chef exited from his ABC talk show The Chew and in 2019 he relieved himself from his worldwide restaurant empire, including hot spots like Bappo and Del Posto, and his luxury Italian market chain Eataly.