Two women who said Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill inappropriately touched them at a bar in March are speaking out publicly for the first time.
Rep. Mara Candelaria Reardon, a Democrat from Munster, identified herself as one of Hill’s alleged victims in a letter submitted to The Indianapolis Star.
“I am not anonymous,” she says in the letter. “I am a wife, mother, business owner, and a State Representative. I am also a victim of sexual battery, perpetrated by Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill.”
Gabrielle McLemore, communications director for the Indiana Senate Democrats, also came forward Friday with her own letter, identifying herself as one of the alleged victims.
“I was trapped both physically and mentally by the state’s highest law enforcement official,” McLemore said in her letter.
State lawmaker recounts details of Curtis Hill encounter
Reardon goes on to explain that in the early hours of March 15, she gathered with other lawmakers and staff to celebrate the end of the legislative session. She said she was surprised to see Hill enter the party at AJ’s Lounge, a bar in Indianapolis, “because in my 12 years in and around the General Assembly, I have not seen any Attorney General attend an end of session gathering.”
She said that as she exchanged pleasantries with Hill, he “leaned toward me as if he could not hear me and placed his hand on my back and slid his hand down to my buttocks and grabbed it.”
She then told him to “back off” and walked away as a legislative staffer with her “stood shocked,” she said.
But Hill approached her again later in the evening, she said.
“Hill came up behind me and put his hand on my back again and said, ‘That skin. That back.’ I recoiled away before he could touch my buttocks again,” she said.
‘I had an obligation to report’ Curtis Hill’s behavior
Candelaria Reardon describes herself as “a strong, independent woman” and said she originally had planned to address the issue personally with Hill.
“To me, he was not the Attorney General, or a married man, or a religious man, or a Republican,” she said. “He was the man who put his hand on my skin and my buttocks, and I felt I needed to address it face to face.”
But, she said in the letter, she later learned during a lunch with another lawmaker and legislative staffer that Hill had touched other women at the party as well.
“At that time, the staffer, still shocked and disgusted, told us that after I went home, Curtis Hill continued to grope at least four other women, herself included,” Candelaria Reardon said. “I realized that this was bigger than me, and I had an obligation to report it to our House leadership, to protect these women and any others, from Curtis Hill’s deviant conduct. These young women came to Indianapolis to be mentored and taught professional conduct, not to be assaulted.”
She and House Democratic Leader Terry Goodin then went to Republican House Speaker Brian Bosma.
Click here to read more.
SOURCE: USA Today, Tony Cook and Ryan Martin and Kaitlin Lange