Report: Indiana Attorney General groped 4 women at bar
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill was investigated this year after four women claimed he touched them inappropriately at a bar.
The Indianapolis Star obtained an eight-page memo written by the law firm Taft Stettinius & Hollister, which wrote the document for legislative leaders who investigated the allegations against Hill.
The memo states that a lawmaker and three legislative staffers said Hill inappropriately touched them at a party in the early morning hours of March 15, shortly after Indiana's legislative session came to a close.
Hill, a Republican, denied the allegations, calling them "deeply troubling."
"At no time was my behavior inappropriate nor did I touch anyone in an inappropriate manner," Hill said in a statement to the newspaper. He also said he was never contacted by an investigator and that he hasn't "been informed of who made these allegations."
But legislative leaders said in a joint statement on Monday that the investigation was completed and "the matter has been addressed with the Attorney General to the satisfaction of the employees involved."
One of the accusers, who spoke to the newspaper on the condition that she not be identified, expressed anger over Hill's denial.
She said she was satisfied that the investigation was conducted and that the women involved were treated fairly, but she said she was "disappointed that nothing can be done to censure him formally."
"This was a pattern of behavior that was witnessed by many," she told the newspaper.
The document, dated June 18, states that Hill's alleged conduct toward the legislative employees may have been "inappropriate," but was "likely not severe or pervasive enough to result in a hostile work environment." However, the firm found that Hill's conduct toward the lawmaker was "likely egregious enough to meet the threshold of 'severe.'"
The memo includes details from interviews conducted with six women who attended the end-of-session party.
The lawmaker said an intoxicated Hill put his hands on her back, slid them down her back, put them under her clothes and grabbed her buttocks, according to the memo. She told him to "back off" and walked away, but Hill approached her again later and again reached under her clothing and grabbed her. She again told him to "back off," according to the memo.
The Associated Press does not identify alleged victims of sexual assaults unless they come forward publicly.
Hill, a former Elkhart County prosecutor, has been viewed as a rising Republican star. He was the single greatest vote getter in Indiana history when he was elected to office in 2016.
In May, he warmed up the crowd at a rally held by President Donald Trump in Hill's native Elkhart. He's also visited the White House several times since Trump took office.
Governor Eric J. Holcomb released the following statement regarding the allegations:
“I’m in a remote area of Montana with Janet celebrating our anniversary for a few days. I have limited information from media sources I’m able to access.
“We took great care to update our sexual harassment policies for the executive, legislative and judicial branches in the past few months. No one should be subjected to unwanted sexual advances. I commend House and Senate leaders for their immediate and formal follow up to the allegations presented to them.
“I’ll return to Indianapolis late tomorrow night. Until I’ve reviewed the facts in detail, I will have no further comment.”