Wu: Newly-revealed allegations against Arroyo are 'troubling'

Mayor Wu spoke during an event on Hannon Street in Dorchester on Wed., Aug. 24. Seth Daniel photo

Councillor Ricardo Arroyo

Mayor Wu on continuing her support for Arroyo: 'We’ll see how this story evolves.'

A bombshell story in the Boston Globe that outlined past allegations of sexual assault involving Boston City Councillor Ricardo Arroyo has roiled the already hotly contested race for Suffolk County District Attorney, just days before voters in Boston start heading to the polls ahead of the Sept. 6 primary.

Arroyo, who has denied any knowledge of the allegations as presented in the Globe story, again denied the allegations during a press conference held on Wednesday afternoon at his campaign office in Roslindale.

Brigite Melo-Cronin, an attorney who said she represents a woman who was described— but not named— in the Globe story as an accuser of Arroyo read a statement that disputed the Boston Globe story and blamed current interim DA Kevin Hayden for leaking documents that led to the story.

Mayor Wu— who has endorsed Arroyo in his primary campaign against Hayden— was pressed for her reaction to the Globe story by reporters at an unrelated event on Hannon Street in Dorchester this morning.

"I’m watching very closely to see how this story evolves and still processing and watching to see what else may come out," Wu told reporters.

She added: "It is troubling to learn about allegations of this nature no matter how many years ago they happened, and it is tough when voters are presented with this type of information just days away from an election. Early voting starts on Saturday."

Wu said she learned about the allegations when reporters from the Boston Globe "reached out to the BPD and BPS for information."

When asked if she planned to continue to support Arroyo in his candidacy for DA, Wu said: "We’ll see how this story evolves."

The Globe story references two instances— in 2005 and 2007— in which Arroyo was allegedly accused of sexual assault by two different young women. Arroyo was never charged with any criminal wrongdoing and he has denied even knowing that he was the subject of a police investigation. The Globe story, citing police and school documents, reports that Arroyo was under investigation— a fact that could be particularly damaging since Arroyo— an attorney and member of the Massachusetts Bar— reportedly declared that he had never been a suspect in any criminal case.

In a five-paragraph statement released on Twitter after the Globe story was published, Arroyo repeatedly denied any wrongdoing or prior knowledge of any investigations into alleged sexual assaults when he was a teenager. In the statement, Arroyo pointed a finger at his opponent in the DA race.

"Sadly, what has no become clear is that the current District Attorney— or an official working on his behalf— just weeks before the election has selectively and illegally leaked incomplete information to the media. This was clearly done to leave the false impression that I did something wrong."

Hayden himself came under scrutiny earlier this month— and was pressured to resign by Arroyo and others—after a Globe story detailed a story involving Hayden's handling of a case of alleged misconduct by Transit Police.

City Councillor At-Large Erin Murphy, a Hayden supporter, issued a statement decrying “rape culture.” In a phone interview with the Reporter, Murphy said she believes Arroyo should drop out of DA's race and resign from the 13-member City Council.

“The article I read is troubling and disturbing and I believe the article," she said. "I do not at this moment believe his excuses.”

Former US Rep. Joseph Kennedy, a former prosecutor who had endorsed Arroyo for DA, rescinded his endorsement today, according to the Boston Globe. Local 7 Ironworkers, a South Boston-based union that had previously endorsed Arroyo, also withdrew its endorsement today.

Later on Wednesday afternoon, City Council President Ed Flynn, who had endorsed Arroyo, pulled his support citing "media reports of these troubling allegations and conflicting information."

-Developing story...


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