Mount Holyoke College professor accused of assault denied release on bail

  • Defendant Rie Hachiyangi is led into Franklin County Superior Court for arraignment on Feb. 12. She was ordered held without bail following a dangerousness hearing on Wednesday. STAFF FILE PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Staff Writer
Published: 2/19/2020 12:23:19 PM

GREENFIELD — The Mount Holyoke College art professor accused of using a rock, fire poker and garden shears to attack a colleague in the alleged victim’s home late last year was ordered held without bail by Judge Mark D. Mason in Franklin County Superior Court Wednesday morning.

Rie Hachiyanagi, 48, of South Hadley, pleaded not guilty last week to three counts of armed assault to murder a person age 60 or older, three counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon on a person age 60 or older, and single counts of mayhem, home invasion and entering a dwelling at night for a felony.

Her attorney, Thomas Kokonowski, argued Wednesday that there were discrepancies in the alleged victim’s statements to police and in the grand jury minutes. He said Hachiyanagi owns a house and, if she were to be released on bail, conditions could be put in place to ensure public safety. He also said his client has no prior criminal record or history of violent behavior.

Assistant District Attorney Matthew Thomas, who is prosecuting the case, said Hachiyanagi is responsible for “a brutal and cunning attack” in which she coaxed a colleague to let her into her home late at night Dec. 23 under the guise of needing to talk during a difficult time in her life.

Hachiyanagi has worked at Mount Holyoke College since 2004, according to her college web page, which states her specialization is installation, performance and paper making. She is on unpaid leave during these legal proceedings and has been ordered not to step foot on the college’s campus.

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