With the ascension of Donald Trump to the head of their party, the GOP implicitly became the national political force for sexual predators, a distinction which it has only doubled down on since the accused rapist assumed the Oval Office as a long string of Republicans have been outed as vile sex criminals, with the president going so far as to even endorse accused pedophile Roy Moore for the Senate.
Now, another Republican name has been added to the list of predators. The Daily Beast reports that Indiana’s Attorney General Curtis Hill is being sued by four women over sexual harassment. Yet again, we see the party of “family values” exposed in all its blatant hypocrisy.
One of the plaintiffs is Indiana State Rep. Mara Candelaria Reardon, who claims Hill grabbed her backside.
“I want him to know how profoundly he’s affected all of our lives. This isn’t a game,” said Reardon, who is herself a member of the Democratic Party. She, along with three other women who work in the Indiana Statehouse have officially filed a federal lawsuit against Hill, alleging “sexual harassment, retaliation, gender discrimination, battery, defamation, and invasion of privacy” according to The Daily Beast which reviewed the filing.
Hill’s sexual misconduct was first reported by The Indianapolis Star in July. The other plaintiffs are Samantha Lozano, who works for the Indiana House Democrats, Niki DaSilva, who works for Indiana Senate Republicans, and Gabrielle McLemore, who works for the Democrats in the Indiana State Senate. Candelaria Reardon is 55 and the other three women are in their 20’s. Hill, a married father of five, is 58.
The women claim the Hill groped them all over the course of the same night in March 2018 at a celebration being thrown to mark the end of a legislative session. Reardon says Hill “slid his hand onto my exposed back and down into my dress and grabbed my ass.” She responded by telling the Attorney General to “back off” and mouthed “what the f*ck.” Multiple witnesses confirmed the incident when questioned by authorities.
Not long after, Hill allegedly harassed her further by creepily saying “that back, that skin” to her.
“Everybody says ‘you should have slapped him. My reaction was flight, not fight. It’s a total and complete violation, and you don’t know how traumatic it is until it happens to you,” Reardon told The Daily Beast.
DaSilva says Hill placed his hand on her back at the bar and started to slide it down further. She responded by trying to swat his hand off, and he took things even further by then using her own hand to grope her.
“If I was in any other situation, I would have berated him. But this was the attorney general. I’m a staffer; that’s not my place,” told The Daily Beast, highlighting how Hill abused his position of power.
Lozano says after she remarked on the room’s temperature by saying “it’s really hot in here” Hill responded by saying: “Yes, you’re really hot.” She, like McLemore, alleges that Hill touched her back in a suggestive and unwelcome manner.
“I was just worried, ‘What are other people thinking around me?’ ‘Do they think that I want him to be rubbing my back?’ ‘Does it look like I invited him over?'” McLemore recalled.
Hannah Kaufman Joseph, who is serving as an attorney for the four women, told The Daily Beast that Hill attempted to abuse the powers of his office in the wake of the allegations and exploited his prominent public position to decry the momentum of the #MeToo movement and complain that accusations alone are enough to ruin a reputation these days. He even went so far as to run Facebook ads echoing the sentiment.
There may be even more silent victims of Hill’s sexual misconduct. Reardon received a letter from an anonymous Indian woman who wrote that “there are many apprehensive victims of his unwanted pursuits supporting you in silence from his hometown.”
A state ethics probe, as well as a criminal investigation, were carried out and while the misconduct allegations were found to be “credible” no clear crime could be proven due to a lack of evidence.
Calls for his Hill’s resignation have spread, with even Republican Governor Eric Holcomb saying that he should step down. Hopefully, this new lawsuit increases the pressure on Hill and convinces him to leave office. This man cannot be trusted to carry out his duties as Attorney General and must be held accountable for his actions.
Read the full, original story from Olivia Messer of The Daily Beast here.