On Wednesday, Mount Holyoke College art professor Rie Hachiyanagi was sentenced to 10 – 12 years at a state prison in Massachusetts. New York Post reports that she was arrested for brutally attacking Professor Lauret Savoy just after midnight on Dec. 24, 2019. Hachiyanagi arrived at the victim’s house uninvited and talked her way in by saying that she wanted to talk about her feelings” after a break-up, according to a police report. Once inside, Hachiyanagi bludgeoned her with a rock and then savagely beat her with a fireplace poker and garden shears.
Hachiyanagi confessed to her colleague that she “loved her for many years” while nearly beating her to death. Savoy played along to save her own life, telling her attacker that she had the same feelings and convincing her to call 911. After four hours of torture, she did call for medical help, telling police she found the victim “in a pool of blood,” “semi-conscious and with a head injury,” and “barely breathing.” Savoy was rushed to a nearby hospital with lacerations, puncture wounds, and broken bones in her face and head. Despite her severe injuries, she was able to identify Hachiyanagi as her attacker.
The handmade paper crafts and performance art expert eventually told police that she was in love with Savoy and had no memory of the attack due to a history of head injuries. She was found with the victim’s keys, cell phone, and other personal items. Hachiyanagi was arrested on nine charges, including attempted murder, mayhem, and three counts of armed assault with intent to murder a person over the age of 60.
Savoy made a victim impact statement about the sick and twisted attack that left her with permanent injuries. “For four hours I experienced literal torture of body and of mind, not knowing if I would survive the next minute — yet needing to find some way to save my life,” she said in court. “The emotional, physical, financial, and professional impacts of this crime have been huge and they continue.”
Hachiyanagi finally pled guilty and is has a sentencing hearing scheduled for January 2022.