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.
The victim stated in a police report that she met Hachiyanagi in August 2005 and they were friends.
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.
According to The Daily Mail – The former college art professor reportedly confessed her love for coworker Lauret Savoy – who was a geology professor – as she beat her.
At the time, they both worked at Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts.
Hachiyanagi reportedly straddled the Savoy as she told her that she ‘had loved (her) for years’ saying she should have known about her stronger feelings.
She also taunted Savoy by repeatedly telling her that she would be blinded, disfigured and then murdered.
Savoy told police she pretended to love Hachiyanagi back during the assault in hopes of persuading her to call 911.
After four hours, she finally succeeded and convinced Hachiyanagi to call for help just after midnight on Christmas Eve.
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.
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.’
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.”
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.