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Nika DaSilva

Niki DaSilva is a Republican legislative assistant at the Indiana Senate. She is one of the women claiming to have been groped by Republican Attorney General Curtis Hill March 15 at an Indianapolis bar.

Anyone claiming a partisan witch hunt against Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill will have to rethink an inconvenient part of that proposed storyline.

Yet another accuser came forth publicly Thursday, this time a member of Hill’s own political party, detailing allegations of sexual groping by the state's elected top officer of the court.

Niki DaSilva is a Republican Indiana Senate legislative assistant.

She now is the third woman to make public her identity in accusing Hill of inappropriate groping during a late-night Indianapolis bar party celebrating the end of the legislative session in March.

Other Hill accusers, allegedly groped at the same party, include Indiana Rep. Mara Candelaria Reardon, D-Munster, and Gabrielle McLemore, communications director for Indiana Senate Democrats. A fourth accuser has not been identified.

The growing chorus of accusations illustrates why Hill should step down from public office to keep the stain and distraction of scandal off of this high public office.

A separate notable chorus — one specifically calling for Hill to step down — is being led by top members of Hill's own political party.

Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb, Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma and Senate President David Long all have asked for Hill to resign.

Hill has refused, and that is his right, pending a criminal probe into the matter.

But it's difficult to imagine an effective way forward for Hill, given the severity of the accusations, which are specific and disturbing.

The latest accuser to become public, DaSilva, noted Thursday that Hill told her and other women at the bar that night, "You've got to show a little skin" in order to get drink service.

A few minutes later, DaSilva contends, she attempted to push away Hill's groping hand from her lower back when "he grabbed my hand and moved both of our hands over my butt, lingering there before releasing me."

Hill would respond later Thursday that his office received an email somehow indicating DaSilva was coached into the account.

That's for the criminal probe to sort out, which is to be carried out by a soon-to-be-named special prosecutor.

That special prosecutor also will have to review an account from Candelaria Reardon, of Munster, who claims Hill forced his hand, uninvited, onto her back and buttocks that night as well.

"The inappropriate and inexcusable behaviors exhibited by Attorney General Hill were experienced by multiple women of both political parties, from both chambers and in varying positions within the Legislature,” DaSilva said.

It's difficult to imagine Hill being able to effectively fulfill the sworn duties of his office under the weight and distraction of such accusations.

He should step down.



Members of The Times Editorial Board are Publisher Christopher T. White, Local News Editor Marc Chase, Lake County Editor Crista Zivanovic, Porter/LaPorte County Editor Doug Ross and Deputy Local Editor Erin Orr.