BOSTON (WWLP) – Amherst State Senator Stan Rosenberg is taking a leave of absence from the Senate Presidency. He is asking the Senate to elect an “Acting President” in his absence, but it remains to be seen if they’ll follow his request.
Rosenberg is stepping aside just days after the Boston Globe reported multiple men alleged Rosenberg’s husband Bryon Hefner harassed and groped them.
Lawmakers are mulling over an investigation into the claims.
“We have victims here. It’s perhaps of a criminal nature,” State Senator Barbara L’Italien (D-Andover) told 22News. “Those victims, I believe, will not step forward if there is an investigation while the Senate president remains as the Senate President.”
Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr and Senate Majority Leader Hariette Chandler are working together to develop a process to investigate claims that multiple men were sexually abused by Bryon Hefner.
Rosenberg’s leave of absence from the Senate Presidency started on Monday.
In a statement to 22News, Rosenberg said:
I believe taking a leave of absence from the Senate Presidency during the investigation is in the best interest of the Senate. I want to ensure that the investigation is fully independent and credible, and that anyone who wishes to come forward will feel confident that there will be no retaliation.
Some lawmakers are calling for the state to set up confidential reporting system or independent office for victims of sexual assault and harassment to feel safe coming forward.