The FBI May Be Looking into Stan Rosenberg’s Husband Bryon Hefner

The investigation has apparently gotten more serious.

Photo via State House News Service

The investigation into Senate President Stan Rosenberg’s husband Bryon Hefner, who is accused of harassing and assaulting men on Beacon Hill, has apparently just gotten a lot more serious.

According to the Boston Globe‘s Yvonne Abraham, who broke the bombshell story about Hefner’s alleged misconduct, the FBI has launched a probe of the case. Agents, she reports, have begun asking questions about Hefner after several men accused him of propositioning, groping, or forcibly kissing them. Hefner’s lawyer tells the paper he has not been contacted by the FBI, and the state Attorney General’s office can neither confirm or deny that a probe is underway.

Why might federal investigators be getting involved in something like that? The answer might lie in some of the other allegations against Hefner, a figure who is well known to Legislators, ever since his behavior and influence first caught attention in 2014. His alleged victims have accused him not only of sexual misconduct, but of improperly wielding the power of his husband’s office. He is alleged to have offered political favors in exchange for sexual ones to people with business before the State House, and there are reports he often appeared to act on behalf of the Senate president.

Rosenberg, who has stepped aside from his powerful position while another investigation is underway, has said he had no knowledge of the sexual abuse Hefner is accused of, and has said any assertion from Hefner that he had sway over the Senate was “simply not true.”

But if the FBI has in fact taken an interest in the case, it could be to determine whether any of the alleged behavior counts as an illegal “quid pro quo” abuse of power under the anti-corruption Hobbs Act. Some legal experts are skeptical about whether that would hold up.

After the allegations surfaced, Hefner entered an in patient rehab program for alcohol dependence.