Mario Batali will not be charged in two sexual assault cases that were being investigated by the New York City Police Department, ABC7 reports. Investigators claim they were not able to find the evidence or witness testimony necessary to make an arrest. According to ABC7 sources, "The police declined to refer the cases for criminal prosecution after the women were unable to recall certain information to support their accusations."
According to The Daily Beast, a total of four cases involving Batali have been investigated by the NYPD, but only one was ultimately within the statute of limitations.
The disgraced celebrity chef, who rose to national prominence via regular appearances on the Food Network, was accused of sexual assault by four women, who anonymously told their stories to Eater last year. One of the women told the NYPD that Batali raped her inside his popular restaurant, Babbo, in 2004, while yet another told 60 Minutes that he assaulted her at The Spotted Pig one year later.
Following the allegations, Batali stepped down from the Batali & Bastianich Hospitality Group, which managed Babbo, Del Posto, and several other Manhattan culinary mainstays, and is reportedly in the process of buying out Batali (though there have been significant delays in their timeline to do this, as negotiations have dragged on). The group, which is now called B&B Hospitality, has no comment on the news.
Batali has denied the allegations but offered up an apology that also inexplicably included a recipe for cinnamon rolls. "I have made many mistakes and I am so very sorry that I have disappointed my friends, my family, my fans, and my team," the chef wrote last year. "My behavior was wrong and there are no excuses. I take full responsibility."