Former Mount Holyoke Professor changes plea to guilty on assault charges

Crime

GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Former Mount Holyoke Professor Rie Hachiyanagi has pleaded guilty to charges stemming from an attack on a Mount Holyoke College colleague in December 2019.

According to a news release, Assistant Northwestern District Attorney Matthew Thomas outlined the case to Judge Francis Flannery in a change of plea hearing on Friday. Thomas said Hachiyanagi knocked on the victim’s door, claiming to be emotional support after a breakup. When she was allowed in, Hachiyanagi attacked the victim with a rock, a fire poker and pruning shears. Thomas said the victim was left with “long-lasting emotional trauma and severe physical trauma, some of which is permanent.”

Lauret Savoy, the victim of the attack, told the court in a statement details of the assault including her injuries and emotional traumas sustained.

“I’ve struggled to find a word that could hold in its meaning both the attack and my experience
of it. The closest I found is this: ‘severe or excruciating pain or suffering (of body or mind);
anguish, agony, torment; the infliction of such.’ This is a definition of torture. For four hours I
experienced literal torture of body and of mind, not knowing if I would survive the next
minute—yet needing to find some way to save my life. The emotional, physical,
financial, and professional impacts of this crime have been huge and they continue. Now the
defendant’s violation of me is becoming part of a public persona that I did not choose. She has
invaded my privacy, my career, my life.”

The victim stated in a police report that she met Hachiyanagi in August 2005 and they were friends.

Hachiyanagi has changed her plea to guilty for the following charges:

  • Three counts of armed assault with intent to murder a person over 60
  • Three counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon on a person over 60
  • Home invasion
  • Mayhem
  • Entering in the nighttime with intent to commit a felony

A sentencing hearing has been scheduled for October 20 at 10:30 a.m.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Only on WWLP.com | Digital First

More Digital First

Trending Stories