(Lana Jones/WBZ NewsRadio 1030)
BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- The estranged husband of former State Senate President Stan Rosenberg was indicted on sex charges Thursday, and local politicians are weighing in--calling for transparency and for victims to be believed.
Bryon Hefner is facing ten felony charges, including sexual assault, after allegations by several men of harassment.
State Sen. Barbara L'Italien of Andover told WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Ben Parker that news of the indictments against Hefner were "very, very troubling." She said it was a sad day for the Senate, and was a distraction for the chamber, which still has work to do.
She also said Rosenberg needs to do some serious soul-searching.
"It's for him to decide, but I feel that he ought to give serious consideration to, you know, calling it a career," Sen. L'Italien said.
Law Professor Wendy Murphy, founder of the Victim Advocacy and Research Group, said the case against Hefner is extremely serious.
"These are not rape charges, and people might say, 'Oh, what he did isn't as serious as what Harvey Weinstein did,' for example, and that's true," Murphy said. "But it is like a Harvey Weinstein case in the sense that he was in a very significant position of power, he expected to get away with it, and he's not getting away with it."
Murphy said Hefner's case is "virtually unwinnable" because of the number of victims and documented proof--and said she expects a guilty plea.
"One of the charges is distribution of nude photographs," she said. "That suggests to me that there are pictures that are going to prove his guilt in unassailable form. That's not the sort of case a defense attorney wants to take to trial."
L'Italien praised Rosenberg's work as Senate President, and said she hasn't spoken to him directly about this yet.
"He's done a lot of great things, which is why I think there's a lot of sadness being felt in the Senate for those who worked with him," she said.
L'Italien called for transparency, for the sake of the alleged victims and the public.
"That's why it's critically important that we believe the victims, that we see justice be served, and that we do shine a light on any and all things that have happened," she said. "People deserve to know."
WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Ben Parker reports