The husband of the former president of the Massachusetts Senate has been indicted for multiple sex crimes, and is accused of using his husband’s political influence to intimidate men into sexual acts.
“Three of the men say Hefner grabbed their genitals (two allege he did so more than once), and one says he kissed him against his will,” said a Boston Globe report.
Bryon Hefner, 30, husband of 68-year-old Senator Stanley C. Rosenberg (D-Amherst), has been indicted on several counts of sexual assault, criminal lewdness, and distributing nude photographs without consent. Rosenberg stepped down as president of the Massachusetts Senate in December when the allegations against his husband first surfaced, but has not resigned from his position as Senator.
The couple is now separated.
The Boston Globe reported that Hefner’s alleged victims, who are politically active members of the Boston community, claim that Hefner bragged about his influence on Beacon Hill, and that the men were afraid to reject him for fear of political retribution.
“Hefner had boasted to [one of his victims] of his great pull in state politics, and of his influence with Rosenberg,” said the report. “He had described the Senate president’s priorities as what “we” — Hefner and Rosenberg — were trying to accomplish at the State House. The [victim] needed Rosenberg on his side. Hefner left the man in no doubt that he was asking for sexual favors in return for help on Beacon Hill.”
Hefner had been causing trouble on Beacon Hill as early as November, when Rosenberg had to make a statement regarding his husband’s alleged misconduct.
“I have enforced a firewall between my private life and the business of the Senate, and will continue to do so,” Reosenberg said in a statement at the time.
Apparently the firewall did not work as planned.
Rosenberg will face a challenger in the November election cycle, and the race to keep his seat has likely become more difficult.
“Even though, based on what little I have been told, these allegations do not involve members or employees of the Senate and did not occur in the State House, I take them seriously,” Rosenberg said in a statement. “To the best of my recollection I was not approached by anyone with complaints during or after the alleged incidents made in this article or I would have tried to intervene.”