Rie Hachiyanagi, a 48-year-old art professor and performance artist, was arraigned on Friday for an alleged attack on Christmas Eve morning on a female professor in her 60s she had fallen in love with but who apparently did not share the sentiment.
The Mount Holyoke College prof, who has worked at the prestigious college since 2004, is accused of using a decorative rock, a fire poker and garden shears to try to kill an unnamed faculty member who used trickery to stop the attack, by telling Hachiyanagi she returned her amorous feelings, according to court documents.
The victim suffered “multiple broken bones in the nose and eye area and numerous lacerations and puncture wounds on the head and face,” according to a police report by State Trooper Geraldine L. Bresnahan presented at the court hearing.
Investigators say Hachiyanagi called 911 after midnight Dec. 24 to report that the other professor was “lying in a pool of blood and barely breathing” inside the victim’s home in Leverett, Mass. Hachiyanagi explained to officers that her own blood-drenched clothing was from helping–not hurting–the victim, who, in front of investigators, confirmed the story.
But when the victim was in the ambulance en route to the hospital, she said that Prof. Hachiyanagi was actually the attacker, and police immediately took her into custody, according to the Daily Hampshire Gazette.
The victim then explained to investigators that Hachiyanagi showed up at her home uninvited late Dec. 23 to “talk about her feelings,” telling the victim that “she loved her for many years” and assumed that she was aware of her feelings. When the victim explained that the feelings were not mutual, Hachiyanagi allegedly started attacking her with what she could reach: decorative rocks, a fireplace poker, and gardening shears.
The victim then tried to calm Hachiyanagi by telling her that she had reconsidered, and that indeed she did feel something.
Convinced that there was hope for what she thought was unrequited love, Hachiyanagi reportedly stopped the attack and the two women hatched a plan to tell police that someone else had carried out the brutal beating, according to the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office.
Hachiyanagi then told police that she had a history of concussions and memory loss and thus did not remember anything after 6 p.m. the night of Dec. 23. Police say they found the victim’s keys, glasses and a mobile phone in her possession when they arrested her.
Hachiyanagi now faces charges of armed assault with attempt to murder a person over the age of 60, three counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, mayhem, and armed assault in a dwelling. She denies wrongdoing.