BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, Senators Ed Markey and Elizabeth Warren, and Boston Mayor Michelle Wu have pulled their endorsements of Boston City Councilor Ricardo Arroyo in his campaign for Suffolk County District Attorney.
The quartet of high-profile Massachusetts officials are the latest to rescind their endorsements of Arroyo after the Boston Globe reported last week that Arroyo was investigated for sexual assault when he was in his late teens in 2005 and 2007.
According to police and school reports obtained by the Globe, a high school student, then 17, accused then-classmate Arroyo, then 18, of pressuring her to perform oral sex on several occasions over the course of four to six months. In the second case, a 16-year-old girl told police in May 2017 that she was drinking at a house party and believed that Arroyo, then 19, may have raped her.
Arroyo denied the claims, telling the Globe, "I want to be clear — I never did what has been alleged, then or ever. I was never made aware of either of these allegations. I was not questioned by either Boston Public Schools or any law enforcement officials, or disciplined in any way in relation to these allegations or otherwise."
Arroyo further pushed back against the Globe's report at a press conference last Wednesday, reiterating, "I have never assaulted anyone. Until a week ago, I had never been informed there were any such complaints ever made."
His statements run contrary with information obtained in police reports, which explicitly state that a detective spoke to Arroyo and his attorney in the 2005 case.
On Tuesday, Arroyo's accuser in the 2005 case spoke to the Globe on condition of anonymity in response to the city councilor's denial of the claims.
"It makes me feel sick, sick to my stomach," the woman told the Globe. "I see so many people continuing to endorse him without finding out more. As the potential DA, women are not going to feel safe calling his office. Their cases won’t get heard. ... All those people will be afraid to come forward."
One day after the woman broke her silence to the Globe, Pressley, Markey, Warren, and Wu pulled their endorsements of Arroyo.
"The events of the past two weeks have caused renewed trauma for all involved and deeply eroded public trust in our candidates for Suffolk County District Attorney. As a result, I am no longer endorsing in this race," Pressley's statement read.
"The accusations in this case are serious, and in light of the latest victim statements reported in Tuesday evening's Boston Globe, we have notified the campaign that we are rescinding our endorsement of Ricardo Arroyo for District Attorney," said Markey and Warren's statement.
"For the District Attorney to advance the reforms our communities deserve, the office must have our communities' trust and confidence. I can no longer make a public recommendation for a candidate for this office," Wu said in her statement.
Meanwhile, Arroyo has filed a civil lawsuit against the City of Boston in an attempt to gain access to police reports pertaining to the 2005 investigation and make them public.
In a statement Wednesday, Arroyo said, "These are serious allegations that were investigated and led to no charges being filed. As I have maintained from the beginning, I have never, as a minor or ever, sexually assaulted anyone. Today, through my lawyer, I have gone to Suffolk Superior Court seeking an emergency order giving me access to these files — with appropriate redactions to protect the identification of the individual. Since being made aware of these accusations by the Boston Globe, I have become aware that there was a written determination by law enforcement at the time that stated the allegations were unfounded. Instead of taking my word, I want the facts to be public and for people to see the determination made by law enforcement in this matter. That portion of the illegally leaked file was not shared with the media. If the Superior Court grants me access to these files they will prove that law enforcement determined at the time that these claims were unfounded."