Stanley Rosenberg (right)  Bryon Hefner (Left)

Senate leaders say they will hire an independent special investigator to look into allegations of sexual misconduct by Bryon Hefner, the husband of Senate President Stanley C. Rosenberg.

Senate Majority Leader Harriette Chandler said the decision to bring in an independent investigator is unprecedented. “These charges are very serious and very disturbing, and I am shocked and saddened,” Chandler said in a statement late Thursday.

A Globe report published earlier Thursday detailed the accounts of four men who say Hefner sexually assaulted and harassed them over the past few years. Three of the men alleged Hefner touched their genitals — two of whom said Hefner did this more than once — and a fourth man said Hefner kissed him against his will.

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