Chef Mario Batali waives presence at Boston court hearing

FILE - In this May 24, 2019 file photo, chef Mario Batali departs after pleading not guilty, at municipal court in Boston, to an allegation that he forcibly kissed and groped a woman at a Boston restaurant in 2017. Batali waived his right to appear at a hearing on Friday, July 23 in Boston, and a hearing on defense motions was scheduled at a later date.

BOSTON (AP) — The indecent assault and battery case against celebrity chef Mario Batali has been continued following a brief hearing in a Boston courtroom.

Batali waived his right to appear at Friday's pre-trial hearing with lawyers.

Batali, whose career crumbled amid sexual misconduct accusations, pleaded not guilty May 24 to a charge that he forcibly kissed and groped a woman at a Boston restaurant in 2017. He is free on personal recognizance.

A spokeswoman for the Suffolk District Attorney says the next hearing will be Aug. 30 when a defense motion will be heard. Batali again will not be required to attend.

The woman says Batali noticed her taking a photo of him at the restaurant and invited her to take a selfie with him. She says Batali then groped and kissed her repeatedly without her consent.

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