The furor over sexual assault allegations against the husband of Senate President Stanley Rosenberg is about abuse of power at the highest levels of state government.

The state Senate needs to move swiftly to appoint a special prosecutor — not just an investigator — to go after potential corruption and criminal acts at the heart of this scandal.

And Rosenberg needs to answer questions about his role in the scandal, something he did not do at his brief appearance yesterday. He should surrender his presidency at the very least while the investigation is ongoing.

Rosenberg’s initial statement on the scandal Thursday night was telling — saying that no Senate business was involved and claiming none of the abuse happened at the State House. His statement yesterday was a poor attempt to douse the fire.

“This has been the most difficult time in my political life, and in my personal life,” he said.

Sorry, but how the president has been personally affected is not the issue. Where the abuse happened is not the issue.

The issue is whether Rosenberg’s husband, Bryon Hefner, committed illegal assault and abused his powerful position, including controlling access to Rosenberg and possibly influencing legislation. One of the victims told The Boston Globe that what Hefner was doing was clear — seeking sexual favors in exchange for his help on Beacon Hill.

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