No charges will be filed against Indiana AG; accusers plan civil suit
The special prosecutor has decided not to file charges against Indiana's Attorney General Curtis Hill in a sexual misconduct investigation.
Special prosecutor Dan Sigler says Hill can’t be charged with sexual battery because he couldn’t prove force.
The other potential charge would have been simple battery. Sigler says he couldn’t prove that Hill intended to be rude, insolent, or angry. Therefore, Sigler says he won’t file charges.
Sigler says Hill doesn't deny touching the women, but it will be up to the Inspector General on whether it was inappropriate or not.
There are disagreements about the extent of that touching. Sigler says he doubts Hill even knew all of the women. At that point WSBT 22 overheard Rep. Mara Reardon -- one of the accusers -- say, “he does now.”
Sigler says the 56 witnesses were not questioned for weeks after the alleged incident, as he says they got many different stories from all the witnesses.
The incident took place at a bar with alcohol “freely-flowing,” said Sigler, and that the alleged victims’ recollections varied. Sigler says he does believe the alleged victims, but they can’t meet his burden of proof.
He says he concluded that Hill's alcohol consumption that night was "significant."
Sigler says it’s not his place to investigate whether Hill, as an elected official, acted inappropriately. He says it’s his job to decide if Hill committed a crime.
Sigler says he did not speak to Hill personally. He worked through Hill’s lawyers who provided a video statement. Sigler says he then followed up with written questions.
The video statement doesn’t amount to “special treatment,” says Sigler. He says he wanted to hear Hill’s side of the story, as Hill complained that his side of the story wasn’t told during the initial investigation process.
Sigler says no statements, including Hill’s, were taken under oath, but he says that’s not unusual.
A trial would take a long time and would be very drawn out, said Sigler. He says it would be expensive for the Marion County taxpayers and the victims would have to go a lot: “I couldn’t find the benefit of going forward with class B misdemeanor prosecution.”
Sigler says he hasn’t submitted the bill for his investigation but it won’t be “very much.” He says less than $10,000.
He did say the accusers were credible and that he believed them.
Accusers to pursue civil suit
The women say they will pursue a civil suit against Hill, the state and the attorney general’s office.
The attorney says she’s been working on the paperwork for a while. They decided to announce because Sigler made his announcement today.
The charges in the suit would include assault and false imprisonment, among many others. The accusers say the state violated equal opportunity laws.
Rep Reardon says the fact that Sigler decided not to file charges has nothing to do with what the accusers are trying to accomplish with the suit. But they say Sigler affirmed that they are believable.
The accusers’ attorney reminds the audience that Hill is elected to the highest law enforcement position in the state and he must be held accountable for his behavior because of that office.
Even though the incident happened at a bar, the accusers’ attorney says Hill was still acting as attorney general.
The accusers say they want Hill to resign.
Reardon goes on to say that there needs to be systemic change at the State House to protect employees: “Currently, there’s nothing that provides that.”
"When you shine a light on a predator, it stops the predator," said Rep. Reardon. "They thrive in darkness."
The women say they have heard from many women since coming forward, and want to thank them for speaking out.