Former Senate President Stan Rosenberg’s husband Bryon Hefner has been indicted on felony charges for sexual assault, officials announced Thursday.
A grand jury indicted the 30-year-old on five counts of indecent assault and battery, one count of lewdness, and four counts of distributing photos without consent, according to an announcement from Attorney General Maura Healey and Suffolk County District Attorney Dan Conley.
“This joint investigation revealed a disturbing pattern of conduct that was not only inappropriate but criminal,” Conley said in a statement.
He is accused of assaulting three people, who have not been identified, between 2014 and 2016. He allegedly assaulted one one victim on three separate occasions—once in a home in June, 2015; once in a restaurant in April, 2016; and once in a car that same month. He allegedly assaulted a second victim in 2014, and exposed his genitals to the victim in June, 2016. He allegedly assaulted a third victim in August, 2016.
The charges come four months after four men accused Hefner of groping, forcibly kissing, and harassing them—accounts that first appeared in the Boston Globe and quickly which touched off an internal investigation, in addition to the criminal one. Columnist Yvonne Abraham, who broke the story that has rocked Beacon Hill amid a nationwide reckoning on sexual misconduct, reports that two of the men she spoke with were among the three victims named in Thursday’s indictment.
Rosenberg stepped aside as Senate president in December. He was replaced by state Sen. Harriette Chandler.
“These charges are deeply disturbing,” Chandler said in a statement Thursday, “and I thank the victims for their tremendous bravery in coming forward. Clearly, the actions described will not be tolerated, and the Senate will cooperate fully with the Attorney General’s Office.”
There has never been evidence presented that Stan Rosenberg knew about the incidents, although he is reported to have been nearby when many of them allegedly occurred. An internal investigation is probing whether Rosenberg was aware of Hefner’s alleged behavior, and whether Hefner had been inappropriately wielding the power of his husband’s influential office. In January, Rosenberg announced that he and Hefner were separating. Hefner also sought treatment for alcohol abuse.
“These are serious charges” Rosenberg said in a statement on Thursday. “They are now being handled by the judicial system. I have faith in that system and trust that it will adjudicate this case fairly.”
Hefner is due in Suffolk Superior Court for arraignment on April 24.
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