Curtis Hill Jr.

Attorney General Curtis Hill Jr. speaks to reporters in his Statehouse office on May 6, 2019.

INDIANAPOLIS — Attorney General Curtis Hill Jr. is standing by his story that he did not grope four women at a capital city bar on March 15, 2018, during a party celebrating the adjournment of Indiana's annual legislative session.

The Republican last week submitted a 13-page, paragraph-by-paragraph, response to the complaint filed in March by the Supreme Court's Disciplinary Commission that asks the state's high court to impose professional sanctions against Hill for his alleged sexual misconduct.

In the document, Hill denies having touched the backs and/or buttocks of state Rep. Mara Candelaria Reardon, D-Munster, and three legislative staffers of both political parties, during the post-midnight party at A.J.'s Lounge in downtown Indianapolis.

He also denies that any of his alleged behavior, including encouraging women to "show some skin" to get drinks, amounted to either a criminal act or anything warranting a Supreme Court reprimand, let alone the suspension or revocation of his law license, either of which would make Hill ineligible to remain in office.

Hill does acknowledge in his response he was at the party, and Candelaria Reardon and her legislative assistant Samantha Lozano, of East Chicago, were at the party.

But he repeatedly denies he touched either of them, or groped Statehouse staffers Gabrielle McLemore and Niki DaSilva, about whom Hill says he "lacks knowledge" as to whether they even attended the event.

The Times generally does not name victims of alleged sex crimes. However, all four women previously have publicly detailed their allegations against Hill.

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Hill's denials in his disciplinary complaint response extend to basic facts about his legal career, such as: "The respondent has substantial experience in the practice of law including many years as the elected prosecuting attorney for Elkhart County."

Hill claims that information was unnecessarily added as an alleged aggravating factor that needs no response. But, he says, "To the extent any answer is required, the respondent denies this averment."

The Supreme Court last month appointed former Justice Myra Selby to gather and review evidence relating to the complaint, after the court rejected Hill's attempts to have the disciplinary case dismissed.

Selby is due in coming months to hear from both sides and compile a report on the case for the high court's five justices, who ultimately will decide whether Hill's alleged conduct warrants professional sanction.

A special prosecutor last year declined to file either felony or misdemeanor charges relating to Hill's alleged behavior, because the prosecutor doubted the evidence gathered by the state's inspector general would result in a criminal conviction.

Nevertheless, Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb and the Republican leaders of the Indiana House and Senate all have called on Hill to resign, though lawmakers declined to take any steps toward impeaching Hill during this year's recently concluded legislative session.

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