Mario Batali will not face criminal charges after the celebrity chef was accused of sexual assault by two different women, according to sources familiar with the case.
The Manhattan District Attorney’s office declined to comment.
A New York Police Department(NYPD) spokesman declined to comment directly on any particular investigation, but said in a statement that the "NYPD takes sex crimes and sexual assault very seriously, and encourages anyone with information about such a crime to report it to police, so perpetrators can be prosecuted, and justice can be secured for survivors."
A woman claimed Batali raped her at one of his restaurants in January 2004. A second woman told the television news magazine 60 Minutes that Batali sexually assaulted her at the Spotted Pig in 2005.
“”I vehemently deny any allegations of sexual assault.
NYPD investigators declined to refer the cases for criminal prosecution after the women were unable to recall certain information to support their accusations, the sources said. Additionally, detectives were unable to find corroborating witnesses.
Batali has previously acknowledged “deeply inappropriate” behavior but has said tbat he “vehemently deny any allegations of sexual assault.”
The NYPD statement also urged New York City sexual assault victims to contact the department's Special Victims Division 24-hour hotline: 212-267-RAPE (7273)