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Arroyo says documents prove his innocence

Judge orders release of redacted records from ‘05 assault allegation

Yawu Miller
Yawu Miller is the Banner’s senior editor. VIEW BIO
Arroyo says documents prove his innocence
BANNER PHOTO

After securing a judgement last Thursday ordering the release of redacted documents for a 2005 sexual assault case in which he was accused, City Councilor Ricardo Arroyo is claiming he’s been vindicated, citing a Boston Police Department finding that the allegations were, in an officer’s words, “unfounded.”

“Based on the assessment of the information we had, there was no crime committed,” an assistant district attorney wrote in an email included in the documents that BPD released Friday.

The release of the document, just four days before the Sept. 6 primary election in which voters were set to choose between Arroyo and interim District Attorney Kevin Hayden for the Suffolk County District Attorney seat, has shed some light on the controversy that began Aug. 23 when the Boston Globe published an article alleging Arroyo was a suspect in two sexual assault cases — one in 2005 and one in 2007.

The woman in the 2007 case said, through an attorney, that she repeatedly told the Globe that Arroyo, who was then 18, had nothing to do with her assault. The woman in the 2005 case contacted the daily and told them, according to an article that appeared Aug. 30`, that she stands by the allegations of coerced sex she made 17 years ago.

The Globe, in its reporting, continues to assert that Arroyo was twice investigated for sexual assault.

Hayden alleged that the police department findings are inconclusive.

“We have thoroughly reviewed our entire unredacted file regarding the sexual assault allegations against Ricardo Arroyo,” Hayden’s office said in a press statement released hours before the documents were released Sept. 2. “Nothing in the file suggests or indicates that the allegations were unfounded.”

For his part, Arroyo has accused Hayden of illegally leaking the documents, which contain the names of the alleged victims who were then minors, to the Globe. Boston Mayor Michelle Wu said Boston Police Department officials have said that no officer has accessed the files from either case — and that the only other office with access to the files is Hayden’s.

Saturday, Arroyo told WCVB TV-5 he believes the leaking of selective portions of the documents — omitting the findings of the investigations — was aimed at undermining his campaign.

I think the fact that this leak occurred, I believe, 14 days before the election — exactly two weeks before an election, makes it incredibly difficult to believe that this wasn’t politically motivated,” he said.

Arroyo has repeatedly called for an independent investigation into the leak, citing what he says is Hayden’s refusal to investigate the leaking of the documents. Arroyo also told NBC Boston that the former police detective who signed off on the 2005 case is currently working as Hayden’s driver.

“I think that the connections that we continue to find are troubling,” he told reporter Latoyia Edwards. “[Hayden] hasn’t addressed them. He never backed my call for an independent investigation. He never did an internal investigation.”

Whether or not Hayden’s office is investigated, the damage to Arroyo’s campaign appeared substantial. U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey, U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley and Boston Mayor Michelle Wu rescinded their endorsements of Arroyo prior to Friday’s release of the redacted investigation.

On the other hand, as of Friday, more than 29,000 voters had already cast ballots through early voting and mail-in voting.

If Arroyo prevails in the primary, he may still face questions of whether he was truthful in his application to practice law in Massachusetts. The application asks whether an attorney has ever been investigated for a crime. Arroyo responded that he had not.

Yet, it’s not at all clear from the documents that police at any point told Arroyo he was under investigation for a crime, and Arroyo was not charged with a crime in the 2005 and 2007 cases.

The bar application aside, the documents do, however, make clear that Arroyo did speak with police at the time, contradicting his statement to reporters that he was never questioned by police in connection with either case and was not aware of the allegations until he was contacted by the Globe.

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