Four women, including a state legislator, filed a federal lawsuit against Indiana’s Republican attorney general Tuesday accusing him of inappropriate touching at a 2018 party.
A special prosecutor decided against pursuing criminal charges against Attorney General Curtis Hill.
Now the women are suing him for sexual harassment and defamation, the Associated Press reported.
They announced the suit at a news conference Tuesday.
“When an elected official betrays the trust, the public trust, in such an egregious way so as to commit sexual battery and assault and doesn’t have the honor to resign, to maintain the dignity of the office, there have to be consequences for those actions and there have to be options to hold him accountable,” Democratic State Rep. Mara Candelaria Reardon said, according to WTHR.
Legislative staffers Niki DaSilva, Samantha Lozano and Gabriella McLemore joined Reardon in the suit.
They say Hill groped them at an Indianapolis bar during a celebration of the state legislative session in May 2018, WTHR reported.
Hill denied their accusations, including that he drunkenly groped a woman’s buttocks and told women “show a little skin.”
If the women win the case, the Indiana state taxpayers could be responsible to cover damages and attorney fees.
The suit forces Hill to take back statements he has made about the women and pay them damages.
WTHR claims the lawsuit does not name a specific monetary amount.
The women’s lawyers first said they intended to sue Hill in October, according to the AP.
Hill’s attorneys said the special prosecutor’s decision to not press charges “exonerates and absolves Mr. Curtis Hill of any factual and legal criminal behavior.”
The Attorney General’s Office responded with a statement:
“Attorneys from the Office of the Attorney General filed their appearances to defend vigorously the State of Indiana and the Attorney General in a lawsuit filed today captioned DaSilva, et al. v. State of Indiana, et al. The lawsuit is related to allegations that have now been reviewed four times. The investigations all concluded without any recommendations for further action.”
Hill could be sanctioned by the state Supreme Court for alleged professional misconduct at the party during an October hearing.
If Hill is sanctioned, he could be disbarred as an attorney.
Republican Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb has called for Hill’s resignation.
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