Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill Won’t Face Criminal Charges Despite ‘Credible’ Groping Allegations
Indiana’s inspector general questioned 56 people during a months-long investigation that began after four women accused Curtis Hill of inappropriately touching them at a party.
A scathing 25-page report found four groping allegations lodged against Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill to be credible, but a special prosecutor announced Tuesday that he will not pursue criminal charges against the first-term Republican.
“I investigated: ‘Did a crime occur there and could it be proven?’” Daniel Sigler said at a press conference. “I decided that there was no crime that could be proven.”
Sigler said authorities, including Indiana Inspector General Lori Torres, questioned 56 people in the course of the investigation, which was sparked by a “sine die” party in March at which four separate women claimed they were inappropriately touched by Hill. Though Sigler reportedly found the witnesses to be “credible,” he said he could not prove intent and thus could not prove simple battery had been committed.
Torres’ inspector general’s report noted that “multiple eyewitnesses” described Hill’s conduct that night as “inappropriate,” “creepy,” and “unwelcome.” She wrote that Hill “made many of the women at the party uncomfortable.”
“Men and women from both parties, the political left and political right, provided accounts of what transpired that night,” the report said.
In July, after The Indianapolis Star published an eight-page confidential memo detailing the sexual-misconduct accusations, bipartisan leaders throughout the state government called for Hill’s resignation. But the married father of five—who was elected in 2016—doubled down on his claims of innocence, insisting that he was the victim of a #MeToo-inspired witch hunt.
“Folks we are living in a time when accusations alone have the power of conviction,” Hill said at the time, alleging that his reputation had been “dragged through the gutter.”
On Tuesday, Hill’s attorneys told the Star that Sigler’s decision not to pursue charges “exonerates and absolves” their client “of any factual and legal criminal behavior,” and that he appreciates “the diligence and thoroughness taken” by Sigler’s office.
Democratic State Rep. Mara Candelaria Reardon; Niki DaSilva, a legislative assistant for Indiana Senate Republicans; and Gabrielle McLemore, a communications director for the state senate’s Democratic party, all publicly accused the attorney general weeks after the memo was released. Samantha Lozano, a legislative assistant for Indiana House Democrats, went public for the first time on Tuesday at the press conference.
“It’s time,” Lozano said in a press release. “My colleagues have been so brave facing denial and accusations against them from Curtis Hill. Today I join them publicly in an effort to enact change. We came forward with our complaints, we cooperated during interviews with our superiors, we have waited patiently as numerous leaders have publicly stated they believe us and trust what happened to us that night.”
“Illegal and improper behavior must be taken seriously and addressed by our laws, no matter the perpetrator’s title,” she added.
The four women announced on Tuesday that they had filed paperwork with the State of Indiana and the federal government “to ensure their future rights to file suit against the State and Hill are preserved.” Those filings, according to their attorney, include a tort claim notice to the State of Indiana and a federal complaint to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
“Credibility is not in question here; these women were sexually harassed by Curtis Hill and there are numerous witnesses to corroborate their accounts. The question is how do we keep this from happening again, especially by elected officials in positions of power? Currently, if an elected official is accused of serious misconduct, the only short-term remedies are for that person to either voluntarily resign or be impeached,” said Hannah Kaufman Joseph, who represents all four women.
“We must provide more avenues for victims to ensure those responsible are held to the standards set forth in our state and federal laws,” she added.