HomeNewsTown Violates Massachusetts Law, Releases Porter's Victim’s Name

Town Violates Massachusetts Law, Releases Porter’s Victim’s Name

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On Friday, January 19, just before Tim Brennan’s Loudermill Hearing, the Town of Hopkinton publicly released several documents, in accordance with public meeting laws. Both the town’s attorney and Brennan’s defense referred to the documents, specifically the so-called Kroll Report several times throughout the presentation.

>> RELATED: In Emotional Meeting, Select Board Punts on Brennan Hearing

Some of the documents were formal in nature; police department policies, Brennan’s notice of leave, and the announcement of the public hearing. 

But one of the documents was the full transcript of the interview of Sgt. Brennan performed by Daniel Linskey of Kroll Investigative Services, who the town hired in February 2023 to perform an Internal Affairs investigation. 

In the transcript, Linskey identifies the victim by name, and the town published it without redaction. 

This is a violation of Massachusetts General Law Part IV, Title I, Chapter 265, Section 24C, which reads in part:

That portion of the records of a court or any police department of the commonwealth or any of its political subdivisions, which contains the name of the victim in an arrest, investigation or complaint for rape or assault with intent to rape … shall be withheld from public inspection

Through its public relations agency, JGPR, the town distributed a press release to multiple media agencies announcing they had made the documents public. “Chief Bennett has released these documents following multiple public records request and amid significant public interest, inquiry and media reporting on the matter,” stated the release. Select Board Member Amy Ritterbusch amplified the release on her official social media profile.

Out of respect for the victim’s privacy, HopNews elected not to publicize the release. However, several other media outlets did, making copies of the documents and providing links to the copies instead of the originals hosted by the town. By Sunday, the town presumably realizing its error, removed the Brennan interview from their website, but it was too late. 

HopNews interviewed a self-identified “close friend” of the victim, who said the woman was “enraged and sobbing uncontrollably” after discovering that she had been outed by the town. HopNews has independently verified their relationship.

Also published by the town was the redacted Kroll report. In October, HopNews reported on several portions of the report to construct a timeline of the Porter case. At the time the contents of the report had not been widely distributed, nor had it been used by the town in any meaningful way. 

This is noteworthy because the report contains several important disclaimers and expectations on the first page, in a section titled Privileged & Confidential.

Specifically, it says:

This report was prepared by Kroll at the request of the client to whom it is furnished. The client agrees that reports and information received from Kroll, including this report, are strictly confidential and are intended solely for the private and exclusive use of the client only in connection with a business, investment or other commercial purpose. Any other use (including for EMPLOYMENT PURPOSES, credit evaluation or insurance underwriting purposes) is strictly prohibited and client has AGREED THAT NO SUCH USE WILL OCCUR. Any communication, publication, disclosure, dissemination or reproduction of this report or any portion of its contents to third parties without the advance written consent of Kroll is not authorized. (emphasis added)

The paragraph then goes on to say. 

Statements herein concerning … regulatory or legal matters … may not be relied upon. THIS REPORT DOES NOT CONSTITUTE A RECOMMENDATION, ENDORSEMENT, OPINION OR APPROVAL OF ANY KIND WITH RESPECT TO ANY TRANSACTION, DECISION OR EVALUATION, AND SHOULD NOT BE RELIED UPON AS SUCH UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES. (emphasis in original)

On Friday night at Brennan’s Loudermill hearing, Attorney Nicholas Anastasopoulos repeatedly referred to the Kroll report. In fact, all five allegations against Brennan were predicated on testimony contained in the report, which by Kroll’s disclaimer “should not be relied upon under any circumstances”, and specifically not for employment purposes. It is not known if the town obtained prior written consent from Kroll to share the report, as the agreement stipulates.

Obviously, the town is now in breach of the contract. And while Kroll is unlikely to do anything about it at this point, it is possible they become party to a lawsuit over the report, at which point Kroll would likely sue the town for its very public breach in an attempt to limit its damages. 

HopNews attempted to contact Select Board Chair Muriel Kramer and Town Manager Norman Khumalo for a comment on this matter but neither returned the call. 

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49 COMMENTS

  1. Seems like policy violations lead to recommendation for termination in Hopkinton. Who would be the proposed termination for this one? Shahidul spoke of precedent setting during his deliberation on Friday. Having punishments that don’t fit the crime is also a dangerous precedent to set.
    On a separate note, this sort of proves that the victim is not the priority for the town and perhaps our policies should be reviewed to make them more victim/survivor centric.

    • The discussion about termination has _never_ been about restitution for the victim.

      The discussion has always been about Tim Brennan’s lack of reporting of misconduct by Jay Porter. There is a moral debate about Brennan’s actions towards the victim, but that was not the purpose of the hearing. I don’t think that the Select Board had anything but praise for the victim-centric ideology that Tim Brennan used.

      It’s about the lack of holding another officer accountable for misconduct. Reporting another officer for civil rights violations does not require a criminal investigation. If Tim Brennan told someone of these concerns, even without a statement from the alleged victim, there would be zero problems.

      As I’ve stated before: Tim Brennan should be separated from Hopkinton Police as an officer. He could work in victim services or a role that fits his experience, but he failed his duty as an officer.

      • Can you point to the law Brennan violated in 2017… and can you show that this infraction typically results in termination? It was not presented at the hearing so I am wondering. I am also curious: does this mean you are in favor of removing from any town position (elected or appointed) anyone who publicly posted this transcript as it is, unlike Brennan’s actions, a clear violation of the law?
        I don’t agree that Brennan’s actions were in violation of any policies at the time in question. But I do understand the point about making a distinction regarding the purpose of the hearing. But if we are going to operate in strict accordance with all rules and regulations what happens next for the PD and SB with this latest misstep? I think it puts everyone who favored Brennan’s termination in a tough spot.

      • “If Tim Brennan told someone of these concerns, even without a statement from the alleged victim, there would be zero problems.”

        This is a FALSE statement and a hypothetical. If Brennan had told someone he would have had to report it to his boss without evidence. Who would have denied it. If he reported it to the SB and they didn’t promote Porter, he could have sued for defamation without evidence. Neither one of these lands Porter on the hook for sexual assault.

        Beyond that, Porter could have retaliated against the victim. Who knows what he would have done, he was telling her the whole time no on would believe her. It was absolutely imperative that Brennan bring her to the DA’s office.

        This statement is without merit or a real understanding of the case. Unbelievable.

        • I think there might be a small misunderstanding:

          There would be zero problems _with his conduct_.

          I understand the ethical issues with reporting it to his superiors. We should have a conversation about how we handle sexual assault by a police officer when reported to another police officer. However, it is one officer knowing that another officer committed sexual assault and did not say anything.

          If you are this concerned, you should also be concerned that Brennen knew Porter was still engaged in activities with children after the sexual assault allegations in 2017. Brennan kept allowing Porter to be in a position to assault a child again.

          When should another officer speak up against another officer? How big a body count is too many? If a cop murders unhoused people and no one speaks out, how many people is too many?

          • I think the problem a lot of us are coming back to is that Brennan didn’t have a victim that was willing to cooperate. He was not in a position to report it because he never witnessed it, the perpetrator was his boss and close with the chief, and the victim was not ready or willing to corroborate it. He followed a path that got the perpetrator off the streets and indicted on a felony. For us to think that that would have happened if he just reported it is very unrealistic.
            The people that should have reported to Upper Blackstone are the Chief and the town after the victim was able to file her complaint with the DA office, thanks to Brennans coaching.

      • Again…that was the Chief’s responsibility- Sgt. Brennan is the scapegoat and he did not allow any promotions for Porter…the Chief & town did.

      • Second attempt, I swear I previously posted this question.

        I’ll bite. A. S. , please tell ‘us’ what you believe would have been the result of Sgt Brennan disclosing what he knew, when he knew it.

      • A.S. How can you hold someone accountable with no evidence? How can you report a coworker for something when that very coworker & his buddy are in charge. How can you bring this to the select board when they themselves are sharing the interacted info to their thousands of instagram followers. ( I wonder if Ritterbusch regrets her decisions. Not reading information that she used to judge Brennan. Irony)

        Does this whole attempt by Bennet to railroad Brennan not prove to you that Brennan was in an unimaginable dilemma?

        Your legal argument is black and white. You need to see there is a grey area. It’s called adaptability.

        Just stop with your stupid argument that Brennan must be fired. Do you not see the excessive conspiracy level actions of Bennet and his lawyer? The information they used in front of the SB was not (contractually) supposed to be used for labor decisions. 3 of the 5 charges weren’t even legal charges as they were rules put in place after the said infraction.

        A.S. The situation sucked. There was no great way for it to be resolved. Brennan did his best as citizen and officer for the victim. He had no other choice. He knew he would be railroaded by a Chief who had an agenda against him and the victim. Open your eyes, if you don’t see this clearly now you never will

        It is clear Chief Bennet had an agenda against Brennan and the Survivor. His lack of scruples and lack of courage to stand up for anything except himself and his rapist buddy are clearly evident. Yet you don’t bring this up as black and white.

        Brennan’s choice A.S. Wasn’t easy or perfect. He chose a path.

        Eli Wiesel ( holocaust survivor, nazi hunter, author & humanist) once said “We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim.”

        We now must judge Brennan on his decisions within the context of this whole fiasco.

        Not like Mrs Ritterbusch and her “I like you Tim Brennan, but I’m going to read this prewritten statement sort of way (and publishing the undetected statement by the Chief on instagram) without reading the info she claimed she was basing her divisions on

        Make a choice A.S. The oppressed or the oppressor?

        After this fiasco is over and the dust has settled. If this was your daughter, friend, police force, community or yourself that needed policing of some sort, would you want Tim Brennan or Chief Porter on your side helping? Would you want the members of the select board, members that didn’t even read the information they were using to fire a faithful and caring police professional with a family of his own, to remain in position? Would you want Chief Bennet and his goon attorney to keep representing the town?

        A.S. It seems you can’t handle Brennan’s choices but yet tolerate all of the malicious behaviors by Bennet and members of the Board.

        Make a choice on all of. The grey areas here. Make a choice on not just Brennan’s choice.

        What about Porters choices?
        What about Bennett choices?
        What about Ritterbusches choices?
        What about Nusrallahs choices?

        I could go on.

        A.S. What next? Are you still going to stand on this one thing? If so, you’re a fool, you lack the insight to navigate big issues like this.

        Again. Thank you Tim

        #thankyouTim

        • Brennan should be removed for putting the community at risk by not reporting Porter.

          If the other accusations about Hopkinton conspiracing against Brennan are true, we must clean house and take everyone that is involved out.

          Both of these can be true at the same time

          I don’t think that Brennan acted in malice, but made the wrong call. That call, which violated the safety of the town’s citizens by allowing Porter to continue his position as a trusted officer in Hopkinton, should be scrutinized and dealt with.

          I don’t think the Town is conspiracing against Brennan. I think there are mistakes that have been made and they should also be scrutinized and dealt with. If any of this did happen with malice, they should also be removed.

          Everyone should be held accountable for their actions. If they screwed up, they should be held accountable based on a impartial view of the situation.

          I will fully support holding Hopkinton, including Bennet, The Select Board, Town Counsel, Kroll, etc. accountable for their actions.

          Brennan made a choice – can you handle holding him accountable for his actions?

  2. Wonder what the Chief’s response to this will be!? Maybe he would say …”If I were here now I’d fire myself, too!” Who is protecting this “survivor” now?

  3. Oh my goodness!! The Board & their attorney has now made the “survivor” a victim for the second time!! The document clearly states at the top …”not to be used against anyone”…etc. …”for informational purposes only”… The Board and Bennett’s attorney used this at the meeting! It should not have been admissible! Not only was it wrong, it was illegal!! What a joke!! Shame on all of you! Get ready for a lawsuit!

    Last thought…the Board was so tied up with policies at Friday’s meeting, it lost sight of the real issue…the well-being of the survivor and Sgt. Brennan was the only person that was always thinking of the survivor. Other than the Chair of the Board, all other members appeared ignorant, naive, heartless and two-faced. You should disgracefully resign now – you certainly will never be re-elected. What a circus you’ve made of the Board and the town.

    • I agree and hope nobody ever uses the guy in the pink who is an attorney! This is freaking embarrassing!!
      Remove the board AND Bennett!

  4. This is beyond egregious! The Chief of Police just outed the survivor!!! How dare he do something so callous and insenstive?!?!? What was he possibly thinking??? He sure as sh*t wasn’t thinking of the survivor.
    This is not only reprehensible and vile but illegal!
    He not only outed the victim but he outed himself as incompentent and completely lacking good judgement.
    The Select Board needs to remove him IMMEDIATELY.

  5. I skimmed through the transcript this weekend and was utterly shocked that the HPD would release details that I think should have been redacted. I did not notice that the survivors name appeared, however I did see many other potentially identifying details were included in the transcript, and not redacted. It will be interesting to hear the reaction of the Select Board members to this apparent violation of the law by the Chief of the HPD, particularly those who were prepared to terminate Brennan for internal policy violations.

    • It should also be noted SB Member Amy Ritterbush was sharing this interview on a social media page in town that reaches over 5000 people yesterday.

      You’d think if she had read the actual Brennan interview (which she absolutely should have done) before Friday’s hearing she would have been well aware that this interview would out the victim. It’s egregious. And even further proves Amy Ritterbush did not do her due diligence before she showed up to Friday’s hearing with a prewritten statement to terminate Officer Brennan. Amy Ritterbush’s actions are deplorable.

      • Time for whole board to be recalled as they are not capable of overseeing town business. Each and every one needs to go. That’s the way to get this town back to what it was

      • If it is true that Mrs. Ritterbusch shared the victim’s identity on social media, I suspect this is reason enough for her to be removed from the BOS. I wonder if anyone else from the BOS will suggest she be held accountable for this? If Mrs. Ritterbusch has a moment of clarity about what she did, perhaps she will do the right thing and resign.

        • Maybe we can help her write a prepared statement: I screwed up and exposed a victim on social media. In keeping with what I preach, I will do the practice and recuse myself from the board immediately allowing someone to take my place in the upcoming election.

  6. The statute that this article cites to says, “Except as otherwise provided in this section, it shall be unlawful to publish, disseminate or otherwise disclose the name of any individual identified as an alleged victim of any of the offenses described in the first paragraph. A violation of this section shall be punishable by a fine of not less than two thousand five hundred dollars nor more than ten thousand dollars.”

    So does that mean that the Chief and Town committed a crime all weekend, by leaving her name up on his website?

    If yes, I can’t help but wonder if the Chief, The Board members and town lawyer will fire themselves immediately.

  7. Officer Brennan went out of his way to protect this survivor only to have town officials “out” her hours after this hearing. Those who posted the transcript obviously didn’t read it – it was clear that certain members of the Select Board hardly knew the facts of the case, had already decided how they would vote prior to the hearing, did not understand that they were retroactively trying to apply policies to past events and clearly have no training in trauma informed care. Revealing the survivor’s identity proves Brennan’s main point: Hopkinton could not (and has proved it cannot) manage this difficult case. The best course of action was waiting for the survivor to bring the case to the Middlesex DAs office.
    It appeared to me that the biggest issue voiced in favoring termination was how the town “looked”…they didn’t like hearing about Porter from the state Troopers… they didn’t like promoting an alleged pedophile. Yes, it is the hard reality of these cases that it often takes years to resolve them. The theory presented by members of the select board though is that it would have been better to have this survivor tarnish her own credibility for her future case so that everyone could feel better about past decisions. Of course it is ridiculous to assert that “knowing earlier” would have resulted in anything other than a lawsuit from an officer denied a promotion without cause and revictimization of this survivor. The rationale for termination has evaporated with this latest debacle. What should the punishment be for these individuals who claim to care about this sexual assault survivor but couldn’t bother to protect her identity? Thank you Officer Brennan for taking care of those who were most vulnerable when so many others are simply not capable.

  8. What a s__t show this has become. The select board and the Chief are throwing Sgt Brennen under the bus, Failure to report the incident to the school Porter was coaching girls, now the outing of the victims name? What has this become of this town? This only positions the town for lawsuits that will cost some serious monies.

  9. Someone at the meeting Friday night during a break said, “Can’t you read the room?”

    Not only could they not read the room, they couldn’t read the community.

    And obviously, they can’t read the law.

  10. Not that he’s looking for praise, but a huge thank you to Sgt. Brennan for being the only one to protect this young woman-as she was referred to at the hearing as the survivor. It is obvious to all that Chris Benetton, his legal team, and many on the Select Board had Brennan’s termination pre-determined prior to the Friday’s meeting; she on all of you except Murial who understood the seriousness of protecting the victim. The SB and the town should all have a vote of no confidence, and the Chief should now be brought up on charges and terminated, and replaced by Sgt. Brennan. I believe the chief is threatened by Sgt. Brennan’s education, training, otherwise unblemished record and his support. How tragic for the survivor, and for Officer Brennan who fought to maintain her anonymity. He has proven his expertise in the field of sexual assault and victim advocacy.

  11. This is beyond egregious. Marisa is spot on–the SB didn’t do their homework here. AR and MJL clearly made their minds up prior to the meeting (so much evidence to prove this, including MJ asking “Were her parents ever notified? Was her mother notified? Was her father notified, that their 14-year old daughter was in trouble?) Not relevant to the purpose of the meeting MJL. IN(shockingly as a lawyer) lacked due diligence by failing to dive deep into this case to retrieve the facts. Too much at stake for the town, the survivor, and Tim; IMO this meeting was a mistake. Why put the fate of the aforementioned into the hands of the SB? Is this protocol; a policy? If so, it desperately needs revision.

  12. Brennan is accused of policy violations, not of any crimes/violations of law. Chief Bennett’s release of the victim’s name is against the law, as described above, and I’m sure it’s also a policy violation. He needs to be held to a higher standard than Brennan since he is the chief. Will the Select Board terminate Chief Bennett? I don’t know how they or the town as a whole can stand behind him after this. It is interesting that Brennan’s attorney was the one who reported that the town released the victim’s name and got it taken down. Did the Select Board/town council/town manager notice but not think that was a concern or did they even read the report thoroughly before it’s release?

    • Anonymous
      “Will the Select Board terminate Chief Bennett?”
      The Current Select Board should have ZERO say with ANYTHING that has to do w the town anymore!
      Consideration should be made for immediate removal and charges brought up on for ALL members involved in this alleged crime of releasing the victim’s name!

  13. Mike, I’m not sure who can terminate the chief of police other than the Select Board. I would like to know though. I think the entire SB should be replaced but unlike the chief of police, they are elected volunteers. I find it interesting that of all of the documents the town released, they chose not to release the statement submitted by the attorney (Keeley???) who sat with Officer Brennan at the hearing and who had extensive professional legal experience in the area of sexual abuse/exploitation. They refused to let her read her statement at the hearing and as far as I know, they haven’t released it. Seems to be a very biased release of information. The fact that the victim’s name and identifying information was released is just horrifying and I fear will discourage other victims from coming forward.

  14. The Town of Hopkinton board of select persons in its zeal to terminate Brennan just proved his case. In less than one day they did what Brennan feared would happen to the victim/survivor. They mishandled the information. If this doesn’t make his case, I don’t know what will.

  15. sent to selectboard@hopkintonma.gov :

    Hello-

    I do not have words to describe how angry I am that the Porter rape survivor’s name was released. The word enraged is not strong enough.

    My understanding is that the Brennan interview with the survivor’s first name was posted on the police department’s website and an unredacted “Kroll report” with the survivor’s full name was sent out to members of the media.

    I call on the Select Board to immediately remove both the Town Manager and the Police Chief. In this case with a sexual assault victim, this lack of oversight is beyond appalling and cannot be tolerated.

    Andrew Lindeman
    21 Phipps St.

    • Erin, While I applaud your support of the survivor, there is not enough money in the world for a child rape victim to ever be able to live blissfully. This courageous woman came forward not for money, but to protect other children. She continues to suffer in silence while she awaits Porter’s case to come to trial. But you are correct that she should sue the government officials and agencies that failed miserably to protect her identity. Absolutely.

  16. Where is Bennetts interview? They’ve posted The Kroll report and exposed the victim, Officers Brennans interview, but nothing from Chief Bennett? I don’t know how the town can keep Bennett AND continue to pay a PR firm that posted these documents. Boy it’s a good thing Norman has already resigned to go work for a company he gave all the municipal solar business to…..isn’t that a little suspect as well? Sounds like a quid pro quo to me!

  17. How can we get the SB or anyone to post the Chief’s interview and Keely’s letter to the SB? I would think they are public docs somewhere. I thought Keeley’s letter, or another woman who is equally qualified in town, had been posted here in HP NEWS but it seems to have disappeared, or at least I can’t find it. The SB should provide them on request.

  18. Where is the accountability? This was a devastating turn of events. There has to be consequences for the public outing and re-victimization of the survivor. The citizens of Hopkinton must demand a meaningful change at the top of the ranks of the Hopkinton Police Department. This was preventable and should not have happened. The town made Tim Brennans case for him in mere minutes following the loudermill hearing. The level of incompetency display by this action is unforgivable and we cannot move past this. If the town and the SB is hoping that this will settled down in a couple days as we move through the news cycle, they are mistaken. Change needs to happen and it needs to happen now.

  19. The stain these people (Chief Bennet, Norman Kuhmalo and several SB Members) have embedded into this town won’t wash out until they are removed. And even then, it will take a long time to restore this town to what the residents deserve. Shame on them all.

    • I believe you meant lawsuits in the making.

      The town will most definitely be sued by the victim and rightfully so.

      Kroll will most likely be sued by the victim

      Kroll will most certainly sue the town for breach of contract. The town violated the agreed upon expressly written parameters for how the report can and cannot be used.

      The victim will sue the HPD.

      Sergeant Brennan will sue the town and HPD for wrongful termination, defamation of character, loss of wages.

      Individual Select Board members may also be sued for disseminating the unredacted information on their social media.

      It is going to be a mess and once the damages get paid out, we’re likely talking about tens of millions of dollars.

  20. Time for whole board to be recalled as they are not capable of overseeing town business. Each and every one needs to go. That’s the way to get this town back to what it was

  21. Dear Victim/Survivor,
    I cannot imagine the courage it took for you to report Officer Porter. Officer Brennan tried to protect you and let you report him when you were ready, knowing that reporting it prematurely would have caused you much emotional trauma and would have put you at risk of retaliation from Porter. Additionally the case would not have gone anywhere if you refused to cooperate.

    Now the Chief of Police/the town released your identity to the news media/the public. This is the same chief that insisted at the hearing that he could have handled the investigation and protected you had Officer Brennan reported the abuse to him earlier. Unbelievable!!!

    Please don’t regret coming forward. You are a courageous woman. I’m sure there are numerous women and even men in this community who have suffered some form of sexual assault/abuse at the hands of someone they knew, often someone in a position of power/authority, or maybe a neighbor or relative. Unfortunately the victim often feels shame, guilt and fear, and doesn’t report it. You are a hero for standing up to your abuser. Hold your head high. So much focus has been on Officer Brennan trying to protect you. I think that you should be acknowledged and supported for your courage. You are a hero to many who suffered sexual abuse and kept silent. I just hope that Chief Bennett’s actions don’t discourage other victims from coming forward.

  22. I’m not saying that Porter isn’t guilty but, without a trial, yet I’m not sure that even Porter’s name should be out there. I’ve always thought it strange that we are willing to name the accused but not the accuser. Both should be anonymous until the verdict. Have we learned nothing from the me too movement? Go ahead and attack me but many lives have been ruined by false accusations. Maybe this is a wake up call.

  23. Amy Amy Amy you sat there with your decision written before the hearing. Now not only have you let the people of Hopkinton down. You may have actually broken the law. Boot lickers never win. Colorado is where the people of the north east go when they can’t grasp there situation. Maybe you and chief Bennet can hook up head to Colorado and get whole with your life’s.

  24. Dear Victim/Survivor:
    I am so sorry this is happening. It’s unbelievable. Praying for strength for you and your family.

If you wish to remain anonymous, please indicate so in your comment and your name will be changed prior to publishing.

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