A judge has sided with Boston City Councilman Ricardo Arroyo in his lawsuit seeking release of the entire record of the 2005 sexual assault allegation against him.
Arroyo, a candidate for Suffolk County prosecutor in next week’s primary election, says his image has been unfairly tarnished by the revelation that he was charged with sexual assault as a teenager.
Arroyo was stripped of his Boston City Council leadership titles following a Boston Globe report outlining separate allegations from 2005 and 2007. Although he initially retained key endorsements in the district attorney’s run, he lost them en masse on Wednesday – a day after his accuser in the 2005 case spoke anonymously to the Globe.
Boston City Councilman Ricardo Arroyo, a candidate for Suffolk County District Attorney, is suing over documents containing sexual assault allegations against him.
He was in court Thursday, asking a Boston judge to allow the full 2005 filing to be released, which he says will show the allegations were unfounded.
“It’s my life and I think it’s important for people to understand the facts because I have to live with these allegations now because they’re in the public space,” Arroyo said. “It is right that the findings of the investigation are also made public.”
In an order late Thursday, Boston Superior Court Judge Debra A. Squires-Lee ruled that the Boston Police Department was delivering all documents, with personal information redacted, to Arroyo by 2 p.m. Friday.
“All allegations of sexual assault should be taken seriously and I will do so as the district attorney,” Arroyo wrote in a statement late Thursday. “I understand the pain and damage caused by sexual assault. I care deeply about survivors. Although these allegations are unfounded, I know it has been difficult for so many in our community to witness. I believe that our systems should deliver justice in a timely process and provide spaces to be heard.
Arroyo accuses his opponent, Suffolk County Acting District Attorney Kevin Hayden, of selectively releasing some of the documents to harm Arroyo’s campaign. Hayden’s office did not respond to this accusation.
“I want to make sure that this sort of illegal last-minute leak of an incomplete file that was done basically to make it look like I did something wrong, that we get this clarified so voters before the election day can make an informed decision,” Arroyo said.
But the City of Boston and the Boston Police Department say they are prohibited from releasing the file due to privacy laws.
The alleged victim’s attorney argued that releasing the case – even with the woman’s name redacted – will have a chilling effect on future cases.
“Who is going to come forward and file a sexual assault complaint if they know then it could be made public and everyone is going to debate around the coffee table whether they are lying?” asked the woman’s attorney, Leonard Kesten.
Chaos erupted at a Boston City Council meeting after sexual assault allegations against Ricardo Arroyo emerged.
Kesten says the woman stands by her story that she was molested by Arroyo when the two were in high school.
“It was true then,” Kesten said. “It’s true now.”
The judge says she will review the whole case and try to make a decision on the case Thursday evening.
Clouds hang over Arroyo and Hayden as they face off in next week’s primary. The incumbent also came under fire following a Boston Globe report about his office’s handling of a 2021 case against an MBTA Transportation Police officer who allegedly fired a weapon at a driver while off duty. The newspaper reported that an investigation launched by then-district attorney Rachael Rollins stalled after Hayden took office.
The two Democratic candidates for the Suffolk County prosecutor’s office are facing controversy days before the primary. Here is a breakdown.
Arroyo called on Hayden to step down after the report. At the time, Hayden’s office told NBC10 Boston in a statement, “We do not take political theatrics that are meant to benefit DA Hayden’s opponent seriously.”
Hayden’s office announced after the report that a grand jury would look into the incident.
The candidates swapped barbs during a debate Wednesday night in Mattapan.
Chaos erupted at a Boston City Council meeting after sexual assault allegations against Ricardo Arroyo, a candidate for the Suffolk County district attorney’s office, emerged.
“My opponent has experience in maintaining broken institutions, and he also has experience in breaking them,” Arroyo said of Hayden.
“The recent allegations regarding Councilman Arroyo are both horrifying and disqualifying,” Hayden said. “The voters are going to have to decide for themselves. Do you believe this woman, or do you believe the man standing to my right here?”
Arroyo’s accuser in 2005 said councilwoman’s reaction to Globe’s initial report ‘made her sick [her] belly. She said she told the newspaper that Arroyo sent her threatening emails, which appeared in a 2005 police report.
As a result of this interview, Arroyo lost the endorsements of Mayor Michelle Wu, Sen. Ed Markey, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Rep. Ayanna Pressley and others.
Wu specifically noted that she wouldn’t support Arroyo’s opponent either. She said her statement “should not be taken as a tacit endorsement of voting for Kevin Hayden for district attorney. I continue to have serious concerns about Mr. Hayden’s judgment in the prosecution, his handling of media scrutiny of pending cases and its conduct in Office.”