INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The attorneys for Attorney General Curtis Hill spoke on his behalf Wednesday amid allegations that he groped several women at a bar in March.
Kevin Betz and Sandra Blevins held a news conference at their downtown offices Wednesday morning, calling the allegations against Hill "false" and "malicious."
Betz criticized the reaction from Gov. Eric Holcomb and other state legislative leaders, calling it "pure hysteria." He and Blevins suggested that Hill has grounds for a defamation lawsuit.
The attorneys blasted the leaked memo that led to calls for Hill's resignation, saying it contained information that differed from the public accounts of Hill's accusers.
"If [Attorney General] Hill cannot fight to preserve fairness for himself in this position as a duly elected official, then those rights belong to no one," Blevins said during the news conference.
"Based on statements publicly made by the women, we know the investigation got the facts wrong," she said, adding that inaccuracies in the memo were "unfair to all parties."
Betz said the case was difficult because the allegations against Hill happened in the early morning hours "with alcohol flowing." The allegations, he contended, damaged Hill's reputation.
"We believe that defamation, even against a public figure such as Mr. Hill, which has to reach the higher bar....we believe strongly that this false and malicious information can even meet that higher bar," Betz said.
Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry announced last week that a special prosecutor would be assigned to investigate the allegations against Hill. But lawyers for Hill filed court papers last Thursday challenging the appointment of a special prosecutor.
The documents ask Judge Lisa Borges to recognize there's no immediate need for a special prosecutor because no criminal allegations have been filed with law enforcement. Hills lawyers are requesting Borges take no further action in selecting one.
At this time a special prosecutor has not yet been appointed.
Hill has maintained that he’s been falsely accused and is innocent until proven guilty. He also says he will not resign, despite calls from Gov. Eric Holcomb and leaders in the state legislature to do so.
House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis) and Senate President Pro Tem David Long (R-Fort Wayne) issued this joint statement:
“We believe Curtis Hill is the individual who should be answering questions about allegations of inappropriate conduct, and we stand by our prior statements regarding this matter. We are fully cooperating with the Inspector General’s Office as they conduct their current investigation and will await the results.”