Politics

Stanley Rosenberg Is Being Sued for His Alleged Role in Bryon Hefner’s Behavior

The complaint accuses the former senate president of putting his State House colleagues in danger by failing to curtail his husband's access.


Stan Rosenberg at a lectern

Photo via AP/Elise Amendola

Former Senate President Stanley Rosenberg was not ignorant to his husband Bryon Hefner’s abusive behavior at the State House, a new lawsuit alleges.

The plaintiff in the suit, a former legislative aide identified as John Doe, said Hefner assaulted him, and that Rosenberg “knew or was aware” of the danger his husband presented to others, according to the Boston Globe. Despite this knowledge, the lawsuit alleges, Rosenberg failed to curtail Hefner’s access to State House personnel, putting them in harm’s way.

According to the Globe, the complaint argues that “Rosenberg and … Hefner made an agreement or had a common design or understanding” that Hefner could get close to people who worked at the State House with whom he “could engage in unwanted sexual touching.”

In the civil lawsuit, filed by the attorney Mitchell Garabedian, the plaintiff accuses Hefner of sexually abusing him twice in Rosenberg’s company and a third time in the couple’s North End condo. According to the Boston Herald, the complaint alleges Rosenberg “provided excuses for” Hefner, including that his “mental health issues or problem with alcohol excused” the behavior.

In April, Hefner pleaded not guilty to counts of sexual assault, distributing nude images without consent, and criminal lewdness.

This lawsuit, meanwhile, is the first legal action taken against Rosenberg. The former senate president resigned from his legislative post last month after a damning report from the Senate Ethics Committee found his “significant failure of judgment” put others at risk.

Though the ethics committee did not find evidence that Rosenberg violated the body’s rule, it did note that he “failed to protect the Senate from his husband, whom he knew was disruptive, volatile, and abusive.”