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Mount Holyoke Professor Admits Assaulting Colleague

October 18, 2021

Rie Hachiyanagi, a professor of art at Mount Holyoke College, pleaded guilty Friday to nine charges related to a December 2019 incident in which she used a fire poker, a rock and pruning shears to attack a colleague, The Greenfield Recorder reported. Lauret Savoy, a geology and environmental studies professor, said her face has patches of nerve damage and two of her fingers do not work properly as a result of the attack. She said she also experiences difficulty sleeping, suffers from frequent nightmares and has daily headaches. Savoy said she had considered Hachiyanagi a friend.

“She expected to get away with murder -- my murder,” Savoy said. Savoy said she also has suffered financially because insurance has not covered all of her medical bills and she has spent money on a home security system and therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder. She also said she has not been able to return to her teaching position. Savoy said she has turned down at least 30 professional opportunities since the attack. “This professional coma has been devastating,” Savoy said.

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