Judge Sentences 50-Year-Old Art Teacher To Jail For Torture


The former Massachusetts University professor who nearly killed his colleague and supposed love by clubbing and torturing her for hours with a rock, garden scissors and a poker was sentenced Wednesday to 10 to 12 years in prison .

Rie Hachiyanagi, 50, pleaded guilty last week to nine counts related to the December 24, 2019 attack on Lauret Savoy, including three counts of assault with a weapon with intent to kill someone over the age of 60, three counts of assaulting a person over the age of 60 with a dangerous weapon and one count of home invasion, chaos and entering the night with intent to commit a felony.

Judge Francis Flannery took five days to review the prosecution and defense’s various sentencing recommendations, according to a press release from the Office of the North West District Attorney, David Sullivan.

At Wednesday’s hearing, he said he found the case “disturbing” because the defense presented evidence that Hachiyanagi was a respected peer, a talented artist, a good friend and a kind person without a criminal record. .

Rie Hachiyanagi (pictured) was sentenced to 10 to 12 years in prison on Wednesday for assaulting his colleague Lauret Savoy

Lauret Savoy was the victim of

Lauret Savoy was the victim of a “four-hour torture session” on Christmas Eve 2019

Judge Francis Flannery said he could find no explanation for Hachiyanagi's actions and said he was tempted to go beyond the prosecution's sentencing recommendation.

Judge Francis Flannery said he could find no explanation for Hachiyanagi’s actions and said he was tempted to go beyond the prosecution’s sentencing recommendation.

“But on the other hand, I have this defendant who tried to torture to death for four hours someone who was not an enemy, but was a friend,” Flannery said in court.

He added that he needed to hear an explanation that would help him understand the problem that caused such behavior so that he knew how it could be fixed.

“But I still don’t understand. I still don’t see an adequate explanation for what happened, ”the judge said. “This is one of the most horrific facts I have heard and I am a superior court judge.”

Flannery admitted he had been tempted to exceed the prosecution’s recommended sentence of 10 to 12 years in prison, instead of handing down a sentence somewhere in the middle of the two divergent recommendations.

Defense attorney Thomas Kokonowski had recommended a sentence of 5 to 7 years in state prison followed by probation, citing Hachiyanagi’s lack of background, as she struggled with anger issues that she was struggling with. she was working and noting that she had been a model prisoner during her 20 months in prison, for which she will be credited.

After imposing what he described as the sentence recommended by the prosecution, Judge Flannery praised Savoy, who was present in the courtroom.

Savoy is said to have suffered long-lasting emotional trauma and severe physical trauma, some of which is permanent.

“Professor Savoy is certainly the victim of a horrific crime, but that’s not what I’m going to remember,” he said. “I’ll remember that she had the presence of mind and the courage to convince her attacker not to kill her.”

“As her body failed her, she used her mind to save herself. It’s amazing.

The former college art teacher reportedly confessed his love for Savoy – who was a geology professor – as she beat her. At the time, they were working at Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts.

Rie Hachiyanagi's defense attorney Thomas Kokonowski (left) admitted in court last Friday that his client had had anger issues, but insisted she had since made efforts to deal with them. correct and should only be sentenced to five to seven years.

Rie Hachiyanagi’s defense attorney Thomas Kokonowski (left) admitted in court last Friday that his client had had anger issues, but insisted she had since made efforts to deal with them. correct and should only be sentenced to five to seven years.

Two years ago, Hachiyanagi knocked on Savoy’s door, claiming to be in distress and in need of emotional support after a recent breakup, North West District Assistant District Attorney Matthew Thomas said during a plea change hearing Friday.

Savoy let her in and when she turned her back on her, she was attacked by Hachiyanagi in what the victim called a “four hour torture session”.

Hachiyanagi is said to have straddled the Savoy telling him that she “loved him for years”. Savoy later told the cops that the couple met in August 2005 and that they were just friends.

But Hachiyanagi hit the geology professor, saying she should have known about his strongest feelings. She also taunted Savoy, repeatedly telling him that she would be blinded, disfigured and then murdered.

Savoy told police she claimed to love Hachiyanagi 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.

On Friday – two years after the traumatic attack – Savoy told the court about the emotional and physical fallout she has faced since.

“I had a hard time coming up with a word that could contain both the attack and my experience,” she said, according to WWLP.

Savoy added, “The closest I have found is this:” Severe or excruciating pain or suffering (in body or mind); anguish, agony, torment; inflict such. ”This is a definition of torture.

“For four hours, I suffered literal torture of body and mind, not knowing if I would survive the next minute – but having to find a way to save my life. The emotional, physical, financial and professional impacts of this crime have been enormous and continue.

Hachiyanagi (pictured) allegedly straddled the Savoy as she punched her and told her she

Savoy (pictured) told court on Friday that after the attack she suffered nerve damage to her face, two of her fingers were no longer functioning properly and she had nightmares and headaches every day.

Hachiyanagi (left) is said to have straddled Savoy as she punched her and told him that she “had loved him for years”. Savoy (right) told court on Friday that after the attack she suffered nerve damage to her face, two of her fingers were no longer functioning properly and she had nightmares and headaches every day.

“Now the violation of me by the accused is part of a public figure that I did not choose. It invaded my privacy, my career, my life.

Savoy also told the court that she suffered nerve damage to her face – and two of her fingers were no longer functioning properly. She now also has trouble sleeping, often has nightmares and has headaches every day.

The prosecutor explained that authorities arrived to find Savoy lying in a pool of blood inside his Leverett, Massachusetts home with several broken bones and puncture wounds.

Cops said Hachiyanagi appeared to have put on a facade for officers, claiming that she was the one who saved Savoy. She said she arrived at the house to find her friend was “barely breathing” after an unknown intruder broke into.

“Your Honor, I call for accountability and justice, please,” Savoy told the court judge on Friday.

“I don’t speak or act in a vindictive manner, and I never want to cross that line. Respect for and for other human beings is very important to me.

“It is difficult to understand why this happened,” she added.

“All I know is that she betrayed my trust, invaded my house and attempted to kill me with premeditated violence. The cruelty she wielded with weapons and expressed in words was extreme.

The women were professors at Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts (pictured) when they met in August 2005. Savoy said they were just friends.

The women were professors at Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts (pictured) when they met in August 2005. Savoy said they were just friends.


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