Facing the prospect of lawsuits from four women he is accused of groping, embattled Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill vowed through his legal team Tuesday to stay in office. A special prosecutor Tuesday declined to criminally charge Hill but said the AG admitted he consumed a significant amount of alcohol and touched his accusers the night of the alleged incidents.
Hill's victims, including Democratic Rep. Mara Candelaria Reardon, D-Munster, shared the spotlight at a news conference Tuesday with special prosecutor Dan Sigler, who announced he would file no criminal charges against Hill. Sigler said charges of battery or sexual battery could not be proved because there was no indication Hill used force or acted in a rude, insolent or angry manner as required by statute.
Nevertheless, Sigler said he believed the women's claims that Hill had groped them. He said he and the Indiana Inspector General filed reports, and that Hill gave a video statement. It was determined Hill consumed a significant amount of alcohol before he arrived at a party where the incidents took place. Sigler said 56 witnesses were interviewed during his investigation, including Hill's accusers.
Reardon said at the news conference she was proud to stand with brave women and that Hoosiers know Hill's "egregious" behavior is unacceptable. Reardon said she and other victims want Hill to resign. The victims also said they plan to take legal action against Hill and the state.
As of midday Tuesday, Hill had not publicly addressed the situation. The AG's office referred requests for comment to his criminal defense team at Voyles Vaina Lukemeyer Baldwin & Webb.
"The Special Prosecutor's investigation exonerates and absolves Mr. Curtis Hill of any factual and legal criminal behavior," read the statement signed by James Voyles and Jennifer Lukemeyer. "We never doubted that Mr. Hill would be cleared of any alleged crimes. ... Mr. Hill will continue to serve the people of Indiana in the capacity for which he was elected as the Indiana Attorney General."
Hill had been the subject of an investigation after allegations came to light. Reardon and three legislative assistants claim the attorney general touched them inappropriately and made unwanted sexual advances at a party after the end of the 2018 legislative session at AJ's Lounge in Indianapolis. Sigler said Tuesday there was video from inside AJ's the night of the incidents, but it was recorded over.
Despite calls for him to resign from Gov. Eric Holcomb and legislative leaders, Hill maintained he has been falsely accused. The matter was turned over to the Indiana Inspector General’s office and at the request of Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry, a special prosecutor was appointed.
Sigler, a senior prosecuting attorney from Allen County, was tapped to serve as special prosecutor for this matter. Although Hill argued the appointed of a special prosecutor was premature, Marion Superior Judge Lisa Borges issued the order July 24.
The allegations of sexual misconduct surrounding the attorney general surfaced during the summer after a report from Taft Stettinius & Hollister was leaked.
Hill went on the offensive, threatening to file a defamation lawsuit and starting a legal defense fund. During a September interview on CSPAN, Hill said he was fighting a guilty-until-proven-innocent mentality when questioned about the allegations.
This story will be updated.