A former State House aide abruptly dropped his civil lawsuit against Bryon Hefner and his husband, former state Senate president Stanley C. Rosenberg, without reaching a settlement, his attorney said Thursday.

Mitchell Garabedian, the attorney for the former aide who was referred to only as “John Doe” in court documents, said he formally notified Suffolk Superior Court Tuesday that his client was voluntarily withdrawing the suit, in which he had accused Hefner of sexually assaulting him.

Lawyers for Hefner and Rosenberg supported the decision, Garabedian wrote.

Michael J. Pineault — an attorney for Rosenberg, who had sought to dismiss the counts against him — said he did not know what prompted the man to drop the suit.


“For the reasons stated in former Senator Rosenberg’s motion to dismiss, the plaintiff’s claims against him were totally meritless,” Pineault said.

Garabedian did not explain what prompted his client to end the civil litigation. The decision came after a judge had ruled that the man did not have to disclose his name in public court records.

“Although the dismissal at the request of [John Doe] the Plaintiff leaves many unanswered questions, I cannot provide further comment because of the pending criminal case,” Garabedian said in the statement.

In e-mail exchanges with Globe reporters, Garabedian wrote the dismissal was not conditioned on a resolution of the civil claims against Hefner and Rosenberg. “There was no settlement,’’ Garabedian wrote.

Asked whether John Doe will testify in Hefner’s upcoming criminal trial, Garabedian repeatedly declined to declare his client’s intentions.

Garabedian provided copies of the court papers he filed. The dismissal request was made “with prejudice,” a legal term that means Doe cannot automatically resurrect the lawsuit at some future point in time.

Hefner’s attorney did not return an e-mail seeking comment.

Doe is one of the alleged victims in the pending criminal case against Hefner, who has pleaded not guilty to five counts of indecent assault and battery filed against him following a grand jury investigation by Attorney General Maura Healey and the Suffolk district attorney’s office.


Rosenberg, who resigned from his Senate seat following an ethics investigation, has said he didn’t have any knowledge of allegations of sexual assault against Hefner before they were made public.

In the civil lawsuit, John Doe alleged that Hefner sexually assaulted him at least three times in 2015 and 2016.

Doe said in court papers that identifying him publicly would subject him to further “psychological harm and trauma.”

Rosemarie McDonald of the Globe staff contributed to this report. John R. Ellement can be reached at ellement@globe.com. Matt Stout can be reached at matt.stout@globe.com.