Boston City Councilor Ricardo Arroyo sat down with NBC10 Boston in a one-on-one interview Friday to discuss a 2005 sexual assault investigation against him.
Arroyo, who is running for Suffolk County district attorney, has denied any wrongdoing and said that he wasn’t aware of any investigation. He also sent out police documents that could clear his name. In one document, the detective investigating the 2005 accusation cleared the case as “unfounded” and went on to say there was no crime committed. More on the documents here.
His opponent, Interim Suffolk County District Attorney Kevin Hayden, released a statement Friday saying he remains unconvinced.
"Nothing in the file suggests or indicated that the allegations were unfounded. Also, nothing in the file questions the validity of the victim's statements," Hayden said.
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The documents released to the public were heavily redacted.
Hayden did not conduct interviews Friday. Arroyo sat down with NBC10 Boston’s Latoyia Edwards for an exclusive interview to discuss his side of the story.
Arroyo arrived upbeat and said he felt vindicated. He was eager to show the newly released documents and point out exactly where the accuser's claims were found to be "unfounded."
He recently claimed he only just learned about the 17-year-old investigation, but the documents show a police officer left a card with his mother in 2005. Arroyo allegedly called the officer back and told the officer he was securing a lawyer.
Arroyo discussed that document: "I was never interviewed by police. So I want to be clear about what that police report says. What the police report says is that I called an officer and said I would not speak to them without an attorney. And so, I don’t actually remember, and this is what I've said from the very beginning, I don’t actually remember ever having that conversation. What I know I would remember is if somebody said, 'This individual made a complaint against you,' 'There was a complaint made, we're investigating this,' if a school official said, 'This complaint was made, we're investigating this,' or if I was ever questioned about this from a school official or a Boston police officer. That never happened. And so, from the standpoint of me knowing that there was ever any formal investigation or any formal complaint, or that a complaint itself had ever been lodged, I had never known that until the Boston Globe said, ‘We have these reports.’”
Arroyo claims he was going through a very traumatic time in high school, which is why he can't remember speaking with the officer during the investigation.
He said he is disappointed about how these allegations came to light at all. He also says something in the report, which he just received, showed to him that Hayden was behind the leak.
“The detective who closed my case, who came to the conclusion it was unfounded, is actually Kevin Hayden's driver. And so I think that the connections that we continue to find are troubling. He hasn’t addressed them, ever," Arroyo said. "Again, back to my call for an independent investigation — [Hayden] never did an internal investigation, and now we find, because I finally have documents that nobody thought I would ever be able to get, that the detective on this case was Kevin Hayden’s driver."
NBC10 Boston asked Hayden's office about that driver, Dante Williams.
"Det. Williams was assigned to this office long before Kevin Hayden became district attorney. One of his responsibilities is driving the DA. Any allegation that he leaked information on any case is absurd," a spokesperson for the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office said in a statement Friday night.
We know sexual assault allegations can be tough for people to hear and Arroyo did have a message for those who may be triggered.
“I want to start by just saying for folks who are triggered by all of this, because sexual assault is a problem in our society, for individuals who have had a really hard time even reading any of this or seeing any of this, I’m sorry. I am sorry that that happened and I’m sorry that that is the way in which this was dragged out and this was how this was conducted. I am sorry in the ways this has affected individuals who are seeing this and following this. But I really want folks to focus on what they’re electing for four years.”
Hayden is also facing controversy. He came under fire following a Boston Globe report about his office's handling of a 2021 case against an MBTA Transit Police officer who allegedly pulled a gun on a driver while off-duty. The newspaper reported that an investigation launched by then-District Attorney Rachael Rollins stalled after Hayden took over.