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Indiana Attorney General Accused of Grabbing Women’s Buttocks

Looks like Eric Schneiderman isn’t the only state attorney general getting the #MeToo treatment. Indiana Attorney General Curtis Theophilus Hill, Jr., a Republican elected in November 2016, has now been accused of sexual misconduct toward several female staffers. According to The Hill – a site for which Hill is an opinion contributor – a memo released today was the result of an investigation prompted by state legislative leaders and conducted by attorney Blake Burgan of Taft Stettinius & Hollister.

The memo, redacted to maintain the privacy of the women, detailed how a “very intoxicated” Hill allegedly attended a party at an Indianapolis bar in March 2019 to celebrate “sine die” (the end of a legislative session). According to the memo, Hill inappropriately touched several House and Senate employees, including hugging, back-rubbing, and grabbing the buttocks of at least three female lawmakers.

The memo goes on to allege that Hill told staffers that they “needed to show a little skin” if they wanted to get served faster, and that Hill “put his arm around one female staffer in a way that made it hard for her to get away from him.” In the report’s legal analysis section, it opined that Hill’s behavior toward some staffers, “was inappropriate,” but, “was likely not severe or pervasive enough to result in a hostile work environment.” However, the report separated those potential claims from one that would reach the threshold of “severe”; one woman accused Hill of twice putting his hand under her clothing and grabbing her bare buttocks.

The memo found that even if the accusations against Hill are true, there is no legal impact to the Legislative Services Agency (“LSA”) or the Indiana House or Senate; Hill isn’t an employee of LSA or the House or Senate, and because the alleged misconduct took place off government property altogether. As has become standard practice in sexual misconduct cases, the investigation yielded advice to take similar complaints seriously, to investigate, and to conduct approparite workplace training.

The IndyStar reported that Attorney General Hill declined an interview request, but emailed a statement calling the allegations, “extremely troubling.” Hill also stated, “At no time was my behavior inappropriate nor did I touch anyone in an inappropriate manner,” and that, “I have never been contacted by any investigator. I have not been informed of who made these allegations nor have I been provided any due process with regard to these vicious allegations.”

 

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