The estranged husband of former state Senate President Stan Rosenberg on Tuesday changed his plea to guilty on three charges in a sexual assault and harassment scandal that rocked Beacon Hill.
Bryon Hefner told Superior Court Judge Mary Ames he would plead guilty to charges of indecent assault and battery, assault and battery and dissemination of a nude image.
When asked by Ames if he was pleading guilty because he was indeed guilty, Hefner said he was.
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In a brief statement, he also offered an apology to the victims, "for any harm I may have caused them." Outside of court, Hefner didn't make any additional statements.
Hefner will spend three years on probation, the conditions of which include him registering as a sex offender. If he violates those conditions, he will have to spend a year in prison.
Prior to the new pleas, Hefner faced a total of nine charges.
The new plea was the latest twist in a case that upended Massachusetts politics and forced Hefner’s powerful husband, Stan Rosenberg, to step down from his role as Senate president.
In court, Hefner listed his marital status as separated and said he had been employed in the culinary field for about a year.
Ames told Hefner that prosecutors had a "series of charging concessions" premised on his change of plea.
Hefner is accused of sexually harassing and inappropriately touching several men who were involved with Senate business; as well as distributing nude photos without consent.
Prosecutors alleged that Hefner sexually assaulted one victim on three separate occasions in the Boston area, including once in June 2015 in a residential building and twice in April 2016 — in a car traveling from one political event and going to another and at the political event itself.
Hefner allegedly sexually assaulted another victim in 2014 and exposed his genitals to that victim in June 2016. The victim, who told investigators Hefner had been a close friend, claimed Hefner repeatedly tried to grope him and that he had to retreat to the bathroom to get away.
Prosecutors read statements from Hefner's victims in court on Tuesday.
"The fear of being assaulted became a regular and inescapable part of my daily life working in Massachusetts politics," one said.
Rosenberg resigned from the Legislature in May 2018 after a scathing ethics report concluded that he failed to protect the Senate from his husband.