Mario Batali
Mario Batali was a sous chef at the Four Seasons Biltmore. Getty Images

When the #MeToo movement started in 2017, one of the names to be swept up in the exposed sea of allegations was celebrity chef Mario Batali. By the end of the year, Batali had been accused by eight women for sexual harassment and sexual misconduct. After a long wait, charges have now been brought against the chef.

Batali, 58, has now been charged with indecent assault and battery for an alleged groping incident from March 2017, reports CNN. These appear to be the first official charges to be brought against Batali out of all the accusations brought towards him.

While the Suffolk County District Attorney's office did not release the accuser's name in this case, the outlet noted that the facts match the details from a lawsuit filed in 2018 by a woman in Boston. Last summer, a civil complaint filed by Natali Tene accused Batali of groping her and trying to force her to kiss him after she saw her taking a photo of him at a restaurant in Boston's Back Bay neighborhood.

“Batali's actions were without warning or permission, were unwanted and disgusting and made Ms. Tene feel shocked and highly uncomfortable,” the complaint read.

Batali’s lawyer says the chef denies this ever happened.

“The charges, brought by the same individual without any new basis, are without merit,” Batali’s lawyer, Anthony Fuller, said. “He intends to fight the allegations vigorously and we expect the outcome to fully vindicate Mr. Batali.”

Batali is due to appear in court for arraignment in Boston on Friday. CBS News reports that if convicted, Batali would have to register as a sex offender and could face as much as two and a half years in jail.