“An awkward and unsatisfying choice.” Voters are choosing between two controversial candidates in the Suffolk DA race

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The Boston Globe has published several articles about two investigations into allegations made against him when he was a teenager, one in 2005 and another in 2007. Arroyo was never criminally charged and he strongly denied ever sexually assaulting anyone. He also claimed he was unaware of the investigations.

However, investigative records related to the 2005 case contradict Arroyo’s claim that he was never aware of this investigation.

Technical incumbent Hayden has also had his own recent bad press, facing questions, criticism and calls for an outside inquiry after a Globe investigation revealed a cover-up by Transit Police officers and raised questions about how prosecutors handled the case.

Hayden, a 54-year-old Roslindale resident who has never run for public office before, is seen as the more centrist candidate of the two. It’s a contrast Arroyo has sought to exploit as he casts himself as the natural successor to the elected former occupant of the post, Rachael Rollins, and her progressive agenda, highlighting more conservative positions in campaign literature. of Hayden on issues such as mandatory and qualified minimum sentences. immunity for the police.

Governor Charlie Baker appointed Hayden as DA earlier this year, after Rollins was named US Attorney for Massachusetts. Hayden previously served as chairman of the state’s Sex Offender Registry Board, a stint Arroyo took aim at earlier in the campaign, criticizing Hayden during a board audit in 2017.

This review found that the council did not have current addresses for 1,769 offenders who breached reporting requirements and that the agency had not properly categorized 936 convicted sex offenders in their system.

Hayden’s campaign countered that the SORB lacked the authority and resources to track down people who had not registered as sex offenders. and depended on law enforcement to accomplish this task.

A Baker-aligned super PAC, a Republican, has spent big in recent days to help support Hayden’s run for office. The Massachusetts Majority Independent Spending Political Action Committee said it spent more than $92,550 since last week on direct mail and digital advertising supporting Hayden, which is more than half of the $164,000 spent on all candidates this primary, according to state campaign finance records.

The super PAC has always supported both Republicans and more moderate Democrats. It is led by a Baker donor and has used Republican campaign staff for consulting work in the past. He also has a lot more money to spend. He reported raising nearly $1 million this year alone.

The Arroyo countryside, meanwhile, has been under siege in recent days. The sexual assault allegations have prompted an exodus of leading Massachusetts progressives quashing their support for Arroyo in the immediate run-up to the primary, including U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren and Edward J. Markey, Boston Mayor Michelle Wu, former Acting Boston Mayor Kim Janey, and Rep. Ayanna Pressley, among others.

And omissions in Arroyo’s bid for the bar could pose a challenge for him after his campaign ends, potentially triggering an investigation by a state agency that regulates attorneys. Arroyo did not disclose any investigations when he applied for his law degree in 2014 and has repeatedly stated that he was never “made aware of any of these allegations”. until he was briefed by Globe reporters last month.

Arroyo claimed his vindication last week when he secured the emergency release of redacted investigative records in the 2005 case. Those records showed that a Boston police detective discovered in 2006 that the sexual assault allegations made against Arroyo in the case were “baseless”. However, a spokeswoman for the Suffolk prosecutor’s office said in a statement on Friday, “There is nothing in the record that calls into question the validity of the victim impact statements.”

The woman in the 2007 case has since said he did not assault her. But in an interview with the Globe, the woman in the 2005 affair said she stands by what she told police that Arroyo had pressured her into performing multiple oral sex. occasions when the two were classmates in high school.

Speaking at a polling station in Hyde Park on Tuesday, Arroyo said: “The person standing in front [voters] today is definitely not a junior in high school and he is someone who strives to advance our justice system.

Arroyo reiterated his calls for an independent investigation into the leak of police records related to the sexual assault allegations, and said he still intends, win or lose, to file an ethics complaint . Sexual assault complainants should have “full confidence” that their records will not be unlawfully disclosed for political purposes, Arroyo said, hitting back at the Hayden campaign’s argument that complainants would not trust Arroyo as a district attorney.

Direct mail from the Arroyo campaign received by Boston voters as late as Friday still featured some of the politicians who had withdrawn their support. On Tuesday, Arroyo said the senders had already been submitted to the post office when the mentions were canceled.

“Our apologies to the people whose faces were on it, but there was no stopping them once they became, essentially, the property of the US Postal Service,” he said.

Whoever wins Tuesday’s Democratic primary has a clear path to a full DA term, as no Republicans are running for the job.

Outside the Bowditch School building in Jamaica Plain on Tuesday, several voters said the Suffolk County prosecutor’s race presented a particularly agonizing decision, with both candidates mired in controversial.

“It was an awkward and unsatisfying choice,” said Joe Orfant, 69, a consultant and former state and city conservation officer who has lived in Jamaica Plain for 34 years. “But I voted for Arroyo – the allegations against him seemed a bit like the guy was being framed, and I thought the way Hayden had handled him most recently was a little cheesy.”

In Dorchester, housewife Carmen Jones said her experiences as a mother and survivor of sexual assault would inform her vote for Suffolk District Attorney. She said choosing between Arroyo and Hayden was like choosing between the lesser of two evils.

“It’s awful that this is what we have to choose,” said Jones, 35.

Dan Adams and Matt Stout of Globe staff and Globe correspondents Katie Mogg and Alexander Thompson contributed to this report.


Danny McDonald can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @Danny__McDonald.

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