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Indiana attorney general denies sexual harassment claims, says calls for resignation unwarranted

Posted at 4:25 AM, Jul 09, 2018

INDIANAPOLIS — “A week ago today I had a name. And I want my name back.”

Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill responded to calls for his resignation with defiance, pushing back on accusations that he sexually harassed multiple women at a bar in March. 

He spoke for eight minutes and took no questions from reporters at the Indiana Statehouse Monday morning.

An eight-page memo outlined allegations of sexual misconduct against Hill, which allegedly happened on March 15. The memo states that a lawmaker and three legislative staffers said Hill inappropriately touched them at a party shortly after Indiana’s legislative session came to a close.

In multiple statements since the initial allegations, Hill has denied any kind of inappropriate behavior. 

Since the allegations came out, multiple top state lawmakers have called for his resignation – including Governor Eric Holcomb, House Speaker Brian Bosma and outgoing Senate President Pro Tem David Long. Senate Democratic Leader Tim Lanane has also called on Hill to step down.

“I am now being called upon to resign by the governor and others,” Hill said. “And I respect the governor and believe him to be an honorable man. And I wish he had reached out to me regarding these accusations before rushing to judgment.” 

In Monday’s speech, Hill called himself a condemned man – “condemned without trial, condemned without notice, condemned without the benefit of any basic rights that ensure fairness.”

Hill also pointed some blame at the media, accusing organizations of “nurturing an appetite for scandal fueled by social media.”

Hill did not detail much about what he says happened on March 15. He did repudiate some of the account of Indiana Rep. Mara Candelaria Reardon. Reardon wrote an op-ed Friday in the Times of Northwest Indiana, saying Hill grabbed her buttocks once, then again approached her and put his hand on her back, saying "That skin. That back."

The attorney general said he was a guest of Tony Samuel, the former vice chairman of the Donald Trump campaign in Indiana. This goes against what Reardon said in her op-ed, where she wrote he attended the party alone. Hill did not address the other claims against him, saying he looks forward to speaking freely about what happened. 

“This inaccurate, confidential report formed the basis of the calls for my resignation,” Hill said. “These calls for my resignation are unwarranted, and those calls should be rescinded.”