State legislator describes encounter that led to groping allegations against AG Curtis Hill
UPDATE (Oct. 23, 2018)– The special prosecutor elected to not file charges against Hill. Read more here.
A state lawmaker who says Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill groped her in March has given her side of the story.
Mara Candelaria Reardon, a fifth-term Democratic state representative who serves in the 12th Indiana House District, wrote about her encounter with Hill in the Times of Northwest Indiana.
She said she and fellow lawmakers, staff and other individuals were celebrating the end of the legislative session on March 15 when Hill entered the party by himself. She said she was surprised because she hadn’t seen an attorney general attend an end of session gathering before.
“As we were exchanging pleasantries, Curtis Hill leaned toward me as if he could not hear me and placed his hand on my back and slid his hand down to my buttocks and grabbed it. I said ‘back off,’ and walked away, as the staffer with me stood shocked,” she wrote, adding that she doesn’t personally know Hill.
According to her account, Hill came back later in the evening, put his hand on her back again and said, “That skin. That back.” She recoiled.
She originally planned to address what transpired personally with Hill.
“To me, he was not the attorney general, or a married man, or a religious man, or a Republican. He was the man who put his hand on my skin and my buttocks, and I felt I needed to address it face to face,” she wrote.
Lunch with a fellow legislator changed her mind, however. She discovered that after she went home, Hill allegedly groped other women.
“I realized that this was bigger than me, and I had an obligation to report it to our House leadership, to protect these women and any others, from Curtis Hill’s deviant conduct. These young women came to Indianapolis to be mentored and taught professional conduct, not to be assaulted,” she wrote.
She reported Hill to leaders in the legislature and wrote that she appreciated the earnestness with which Republican and Democratic leaders launched their investigation. She, like others, is calling for his resignation.
“As I continue to deal with the harm perpetrated by Indiana’s top law enforcement official, I must also deal with the reality that there is no process by which Curtis Hill, an independently elected official can be held accountable. No censure. No recall. Not even a slap on the hand,” she wrote.
The state inspector general has opened an investigation into Hill’s conduct.
You can find the complete letter in the Times of Northwest Indiana.