The FBI is looking into allegations that the husband of former Massachusetts Senate President Stan Rosenberg sexually assaulted or harassed several men who had business with the Legislature, according to a report in the Boston Globe.
The Globe, which broke the story about the allegations against Bryon Hefner, said the Federal Bureau of Investigations is specifically looking into whether Hefner might have used his relationship with Rosenberg to influence Senate business in return for sexual favors.
"The FBI cannot confirm or deny the existence of an investigation, in keeping with Department of Justice policy," the Boston office of the FBI told NBC Boston Thursday in response to a request for comment.
Hefner's lawyer told the Globe she is not aware of any FBI inquiry.
Rosenberg is on a leave of absence from his responsibilities as Senate president. He has not been accused of any wrongdoing and has denied any prior knowledge of the allegations against his husband. He also has maintained that Hefner exerted no influence on his actions or decisions as Senate president.
Hefner has also denied the allegations against him.
The Senate Ethics Committee has opened a formal inquiry into the matter. Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey and Suffolk District Attorney Daniel Conley have said they are prepared to open a separate, criminal investigation of Hefner if any alleged victims come forward.
Hefner, 30, and Rosenberg, 68, have been a couple since 2008 and were married in 2016.
Their relationship became news back in 2014 after Hefner allegedly mocked outgoing Senate President Therese Murray on Twitter and boasted about his influence in the Legislature. That prompted Rosenberg to reassure his colleagues that he planned to enforce a "firewall" between his personal and professional lives.