Indiana Attorney General’s License Suspended Over Sexual Misconduct Claims

Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill speaks during a news conference in Indianapolis in July 2018. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy, File)

INDIANAPOLIS (CN) — The Indiana Supreme Court on Monday suspended the law license of Republican Attorney General Curtis Hill for 30 days after finding he committed acts of battery against several women.

The 19-page disciplinary ruling finds credible the accusations from four women who claimed that Hill touched and groped them during a holiday party in 2018. The court handed down a 30-day suspension during which the attorney general cannot undertake any new legal proceedings.

“We find, as did the hearing officer, that respondent committed acts of misdemeanor battery, conduct that under the circumstances of this case violated Indiana Professional Conduct Rules 8.4(b) and 8.4(d),” the ruling states. “For respondent’s professional misconduct, the court suspends respondent from the practice of law in this state for a period of 30 days, beginning May 18, 2020.”

The Indiana Supreme Court relied heavily upon a report issued by the state’s disciplinary commission finding that Hill’s actions during and after the holiday party were improper.

The sexual misconduct allegations came from Mara Reardon, a Democratic lawmaker in the Indiana House of Representatives, and state legislative staffers Niki DaSilva, Samantha Lozano and Gabrielle McLemore Brock.

They claim that on March 15, 2018, during a holiday party marking the end of the legislative session known as the Sine Die celebration, Hill made lewd comments and improperly touched the four women.

In a now-dismissed lawsuit, the four women claimed that Hill “cornered and trapped” Brock and began rubbing her back without consent and groped Reardon and DaSavila during the party. Lozano also claimed that while ordering drinks, Hill grabbed her by the waist and pulled her toward him.

While the lawsuit was thrown out in March, the allegations were found credible by the disciplinary commission hearing officer’s report, which found that Hill’s actions during and after the party rose to inappropriate levels.

“Respondent’s conduct, both during and after the Sine Die party, has caused injury to the four women. Respondent’s conduct was offensive, invasive, damaging, and embarrassing to the four women,” the report states. “Further, respondent’s conduct, both during and after the Sine Die party, has had an adverse impact on the public’s perception of our state’s executive branch and on the profession.”

Hill has publicly proclaimed his innocence and called the allegations against him “troubling” and “vicious. He has rebuffed calls for resignation, even one from Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb, a fellow Republican who called on Hill to step down after the allegations surfaced.

In March, a bill that would have prevented anyone who had their law license suspended for at least 30 days from serving as the state’s attorney general died in the Indiana Senate. The measure, clearly targeting Hill, was supported by the House and Governor Holcomb.

With Hill now being prevented from initiating new legal matters until next month, it is unclear exactly how the suspension will impact his ability to do his job as Indiana’s top law enforcement official.

Hill’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday.

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