Mount Holyoke College professor jailed for beating colleague

Mount Holyoke College professor jailed for beating colleague

A Massachusetts liberal arts college professor will spend at least a decade in prison for beating and torturing a female colleague she supposedly loved with a fire poker and pruning shears.

Rie Hachiyanagi, an arts professor at Mount Holyoke College, was sentenced to 10 to 12 years in prison on Wednesday over the 2019 attack on fellow professor Lauret Savoy, MassLive reports.

The 50-year-old pleaded guilty in Franklin Superior Court last week to a slew of charges, including three counts of armed assault with intent to murder a person over 60, the district attorney said.

Prosecutors said Hachiyanagi had gone to the victim’s home uninvited on Dec. 23, 2019 claiming to need emotional support because of a breakup.

When the victim let her in, Hachiyanagi then bludgeoned her with a rock, fire poker and garden shears during a twisted four-hour attack.

She only stopped when the victim convinced Hachiyanagi to summon help, according to prosecutors.

The victim later told police Hachiyanagi had told her “she loved her for many years” and that Savoy should have known her feelings.

Following her arrest, Hachiyanagi told police she had no memory of the attack.

Lauret Savoy
Lauret Savoy convinced her attacker to summon for help, prosecutors said.
Mount Holyoke College

In a victim impact statement at Hachiyanagi’s sentencing hearing, Savoy – who was left with permanent injuries — told the court: “She betrayed my trust, invaded my home, and tried to kill me with premeditated violence.

“The cruelty she wielded with weapons, and expressed in words, was extreme.”

Judge Francis Flannery described the attack on Savoy as the “most horrific set of facts I’ve heard.”

He went on to praise the victim for having the courage to convince Hachiyanagi not to kill her.

Mount Holyoke College
Both the victim and attacker work at Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts.
History Archive/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

“Professor Savoy is certainly a victim of a horrific crime, but that’s not what I’m going to remember,” he said.

“I’m going to remember that she had the presence of mind and the courage
to convince her attacker not to kill her. As her body was failing her, she used her mind to save herself. That’s remarkable.”

Hachiyanagi was placed on administrative leave from Mount Holyoke College in the wake of her arrest.

Professor Rie Hachiyanag
Rie Hachiyanag bludgeoned her colleague with a rock, fire poker and garden shears during the attack.
Mount Holyoke College

It wasn’t immediately clear when she was fired.

The college didn’t immediately respond to the Post’s request for comment.

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