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DA Rollins opens investigation on former prosecutor Adam Foss after woman said he raped her

Foss, who worked in the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office before Rollins was elected, is an established advocate for criminal justice reform.

Adam Foss at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival.

District Attorney Rachael Rollins has opened an independent investigation on Adam Foss, a former prosecutor and an oftcited advocate for criminal justice reform, after a woman said he raped her in 2017.

“I am aware of and troubled by the allegations that a former SCDAO employee engaged in behavior that was either inappropriate, an abuse of his authority, unethical or illegal,” Rollins wrote in a statement Friday. “Every allegation will be investigated fairly and thoroughly.”

Foss, who worked in the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office from 2008 to 2016, never worked under Rollins, who became DA in 2019. She said she has volunteered with Foss in the past and has considered him a friend.

“Although I personally will not be conducting the investigation, I am deeply invested in its truthful outcome,” Rollins wrote. “I pledge to acknowledge and remedy any potential past failings or inactions by the office I now lead.”

The DA said she learned about the allegations against Foss from a blog post published last week by Raegan Sealey, a writer and singer who said she met Foss at a conference. Foss is known for his 2016 TED Talk on criminal justice reform, which has close to 3 million views between YouTube and TED’s website.

Rollins is mentioned by name in Sealey’s post when she recounts times she has encountered mentions of Foss in prominent media. The DA is seen hugging Foss as she celebrates her election victory in footage shot for “Trial 4,” a new docuseries from Netflix. Rollins listed Foss as an endorsement during her campaign.

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Rollins said that the investigation will be independently lead by outside law firm Goodwin Procter, LLP.

While Foss acknowledged that his behavior “caused many people anguish,” he denied the rape allegations in a statement to WBUR Saturday.

Several other women have come forward on Twitter and Instagram alleging a history of emotional abuse, manipulation, and sexual assault from Foss since Sealey shared her account.

“This will not be a quick or easy process and it is important to give anyone that may have their own story to share the time and space to do so in a safe and comfortable way,” Rollins wrote. “Every allegation will be investigated fairly and thoroughly. At the end of the investigation, I want people to have felt heard and valued.”

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