Two of the state's top law enforcement officials said Monday they are prepared to open an investigation into sexual misconduct allegations against the husband of Senate President Stan Rosenberg.
"As is typical in any potential sexual assault investigation, our first necessary step is to speak with survivors and others with direct knowledge of the allegations," Attorney General Maura Healey and Suffolk County District Attorney Dan Conley said in a joint statement. "This is important not only to gather information but to understand the nature of their experience and to provide access to the supports and services we offer every survivor through our offices.
They asked anyone with this information to contact their offices.
They said they are committed to providing every survivor of sexual assault with what they called "a safe, respectful, victim-centered environment."
Their announcement came as senators were meeting to discuss their own investigation into the allegations against Bryon Hefner.
Several men told the Boston Globe that Hefner sexually assaulted or harassed them, including three men who said Hefner grabbed their genitals. The men, who were not named by the Globe, said they did not report the alleged incidents partly because they did not want to alienate the powerful Senate leader.
On Monday, Rosenberg informed senators just prior to a closed-door Democratic caucus that he would step aside temporarily, though he would remain in the Senate. The Democrat maintains that his husband had no influence over his policy decisions or actions by the Senate.
"I believe taking a leave of absence from the Senate Presidency during the investigation is in the best interest of the Senate," Rosenberg said in a statement. "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."
Rosenberg said Friday that Hefner would soon enter treatment for alcohol dependency.