The first openly gay Senate president in the United States stepped down Monday after his husband was accused of several incidents of sexual assault.
Stanley Rosenberg, who took his position in 2015, stepped down after four men accused Bryon Hefner of groping their genitals over a three year period, according to PinkNews. The men said they came forward after other victims talked about their experiences in the #metoo movement.
“My heart goes out to anyone who may have been hurt, and I am committed to helping anyone who has been harmed,” he said at a press conference. “This has been the most difficult time in my political life, and in my personal life.”
Rosenberg will still remain a senator, but will temporarily vacate the position while the Senate investigates if Hefner interfered in their proceedings. Victims have claimed Rosenberg was nearby at the time of the assaults, but according to PinkNews no evidence has come forward so far to confirm or deny the claims.
Majority Leader Harriette L. Chandler will be interim president until the the investigation by the Senate is finished.
“The past four days have been so turbulent, so tragic, so surprising, and so sad,” Chandler said.
“I wish I could look at this wonderful election you have given me with joy, rather than the way I feel. It truly isn’t a time of celebration for me.”