Senate Prez Stan Rosenberg’s Civil-Law Husband Accused of Sexual Assault

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An explosive series of accusations shared with the Boston Globe alleges that the civilly married husband of Senate President Stanley Rosenberg (D-Amherst), Bryon Hefner, has committed a series of sexual offenses against men — including a nonprofit policy advocate who told the newspaper Hefner once grabbed hold of his genitals.

Globe columnist Yvonne Abraham, who has been soliciting stories from potential victims of sexual assault at venues ranging from Beacon Hill to the Boston restaurant scene, published her story regarding Hefner’s series of alleged sexual advances on Thursday afternoon, days after the 68-year-old Amherst Democrat told the State House News Service that the only instances of sexual harassment issues dealt with inside the Senate under his leadership involved an intern and a State House visitor. 

According to Abraham’s report, four men have lodged accusations against Hefner, 30. Hefner, according to the policy advocate who spoke to Abraham, had previously bragged about his influence on Beacon Hill and according to Abraham, “left the man in no doubt that he was asking for sexual favors in return for help on Beacon Hill.”

Three of the men Abraham interviewed claim that Hefner grabbed their genitals and a fourth claims Hefner kissed him against his will. 

Abraham conducted 20 interviews as part of her investigation

Bryon Hefner (Facebook)

“Though three of the alleged incidents took place when Rosenberg was mere feet away, the Globe found no evidence that the Senate president knew about the assaults,” Abraham wrote. “All of the men said they felt powerless to report the incidents because they feared alienating Rosenberg, with whom they believe Hefner has tremendous influence.

“Reporting Hefner’s behavior to Rosenberg or the authorities was a career-threatening prospect, they said. They spoke to the Globe only reluctantly, worried about damaging their work in politics and their reputations.”

Both Hefner and Rosenberg declined to be interviewed, according to Abraham, but did provide her with statements indicating surprise regarding the claims. In a statement provided to Abraham through Hefner’s attorney, Hefner appeared to stop short of making an all-out denial.

From Hefner, through his attorney:

“To my knowledge, no one has complained to me or any political or governmental authority about these allegations which are now surfacing years afterward. As one can imagine, it is incredibly difficult to respond to allegations by unnamed and unidentified individuals that involve an extended period of time, particularly in the current environment.” 

Rosenberg in his statement pointed out that while the allegations “do not involve members or employees of the Senate and did not occur in the State House” he is still taking them “seriously.” 

“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,” Rosenberg noted.