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No charges of misconduct to be filed against Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill

Posted at 6:37 AM, Oct 23, 2018

INDIANAPOLIS — A special prosecutor chose not to press charges against Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill, after four people accused him of sexual misconduct. 

The alleged sexual misconduct happened in the early morning hours of March 15, 2018, at a party at A.J's Bar in Indianapolis. The alleged behavior included suggestive statements and unwanted touching by Hill.  Hill did not deny touching occurred but said it was either incidental to conversation or movement in the bar, according to the prosecutor's report.

The special prosecutor, Daniel Sigler, investigated a potential charge of misdemeanor battery. Fifty-six witnesses were interviewed during the investigation, and a video statement was obtained by Curtis Hill.

"Mr. Hill was cooperative with my requests throughout the process as were all witnesses interviewed," Sigler wrote in his statement. 

Sigler said he found the women's claims as "true and credible."

"Their motives appeared sincere and I found all to be credible in their belief that Hill touched them in a way that was inappropriate," Sigler wrote. 

"The decision made today should not and does not reflect on their credibility," Sigler wrote at the end of his statement. "They addressed their concerned in an appropriate fashion and forum and should be subjected to no criticism."

The Indiana Inspector General also released a report about the investigation. 

The Inspector General's report is more detailed in those interviewed, and the exact allegations against Hill. 

Of the 39 people interviewed who attended the party at A.J.'s Bar, 20 of them said Hill appeared to be intoxicated. When asked why they believed that, some said he was slurring his words or had trouble standing up. 

One witness described him as "acting like a freshman at a college frat party," while another said he behaved in a "predatory, intoxicated manner." 

Another 15 people at the party said they couldn't comment, weren't sure, or couldn't remember if Hill was intoxicated. Four said they didn't believe he was intoxicated. 

The initial accusation against Hill came from Mara Candelaria Reardon, an Indiana State Representative from Munster, Indiana. 

She told investigators Hill put his hand on her back at the party, then slid it down her dress and grabbed her buttocks. She said she told him to back off, then left the conversation.

Later in the evening, Reardon said Hill returned to her and touched her back. She reported that Hill said "that back, that skin" when he touched her.

The investigators interviewed a male witness to the incident, who said he saw Hill touch her "with his own two eyes." Other witnesses said they saw them together and saw Hill touching her back, but didn't see how far down his hands went. One of those witnesses said Reardon approached him and said that Hill was "a creep," but said she didn't elaborate further.

Hill's second accuser told investigators he approached her and started rubbing her back. She told investigators "she felt trapped," and was uncomfortable and embarrassed, and afraid of how others would see what happened. 

A third accuser told investigators Hill approached her and made her uncomfortable with the conversation. She said she told him "it's really hot in here," and Hill replied, "Yes, you're really hot."

In addition to the known four public accusations, investigators also learned of two more incidents where people stated they were made uncomfortable by Hill's actions at the party, according to the Inspector General's report.

“While the findings of our investigation did reveal unacceptable behavior by a state officeholder, and which significantly impacted those affected, we respect the grounds on which Special Prosecutor Sigler made his decision,” Inspector General Lori Torres said. 

In an announcement shortly after Sigler's, the women who accused Hill said they are pursuing a civil lawsuit against him. 

Hill's attorneys released a statement about the announcement. It reads, in part:

"The Special Prosecutor's investigation exonerates and absolves Mr. Curtis Hill of any factual and legal criminal behavior. Mr. Hill appreciates the diligence and thoroughness taken by Special Prosecutor Daniel J. Sigler in his investigation of his conduct on March 15, 2018, at Sine Die Party held at A.J.'s Lounge in Indianapolis, Indiana. ... Mr. Hill will continue to serve the people of Indiana in the capacity for which he was elected as the Indiana Attorney General."

Scroll down to read Sigler's report, and watch the press conference below: (If the document below does not load, click here.)