Bryon Hefner, the estranged husband of former Senate President Stan Rosenberg, pleaded not guilty Tuesday on charges related to alleged sexual harassment.
The case that has rocked the State House and upended the career of the politician was heard at Suffolk Superior Court. He was ordered not to contact alleged victims and to stay away from the State House. a A trial date has been set for March 25, 2019.
Allegations first emerged in November that Hefner had harassed and assaulted several men with business before the Senate. A grand jury indicted him late last month on five counts of indecent assault and battery, one count of lewdness, and four counts of distributing photos without consent.
“Mr. Hefner Rosenberg has pled not guilty to the charges and looks forward to defending himself in a court of law where accusers cannot remain anonymous and must face cross-examination,” his lawyer, Tracy Miner, said in a statement. “Unfortunately, he has already been pilloried in the press for political purposes, having never had a trial.”
To date, there has not been evidence presented that Rosenberg knew of any abusive behavior. Rosenberg, who remains a senator and is campaigning for reelection, stepped aside as Senate president in December.
In January, it was revealed thatRosenberg and Hefner were separating. Hefner has also reportedly entered a program for alcohol abuse.
Still, a cloud of suspicion hangs over Beacon Hill amid accusations that, in addition to making unwanted advances, Hefner had been inappropriately wielding the power of his husband’s office.
An internal investigation into the matter led by the state Senate has used the services of third party investigators. Records surfaced by the Globe show the Senate’s Committee on Ethics had paid the firm, Hogan Lovells US, nearly $230,000.
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