Indiana attorney general’s law license suspended over groping allegation

Indiana attorney general's law license suspended over groping allegation
Indiana attorney general's law license suspended over groping allegation :File Photo

Indiana Attorney General license to practice law will be suspended over allegations he groped multiple women at a party in 2018,state’s Supreme Court ruled.

Hill has denied the allegations. But the court unanimously found that Hill’s actions at the gathering of legislators, staff and lobbyists in 2018 constituted misdemeanor battery.

“While at the event, Respondent engaged in acts against four women a state representative and three legislative assistants that involved various forms of nonconsensual and inappropriate touching,” the Supreme Court ruling said.

This behavior, according to the ruling, included rubbing one woman’s bare back “down to or just above her buttocks without her consent,” rubbing a second woman’s back, touching a third woman’s buttocks, and putting his arm around a fourth woman’s waist and pulling her near him.

Hill, a Republican, denied the allegations when they first surfaced. “At no time was my behavior inappropriate nor did I touch anyone in an inappropriate manner,” Hill said in a statement.

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He said in 2018 the bar had been “very crowded” and described the ambiance as being “light and jovial, as would be expected at a bar.”

“I interacted with several people talking, laughing and telling stories,” he said.

But after the allegations surfaced in 2018, legislative leaders commissioned a report from a law firm. In March 2019, a disciplinary complaint was filed.

The court noted that a special prosecutor had decided not to bring criminal charges against Hill, but the prosecutorial decision did not factor into the court’s decision.

The court also pointed to Hill’s response to the allegations, in which he called them “false” and “vicious” in a press release.

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“Read in context, Respondent’s use of the word ‘vicious,’ bookended by references to the allegations against him, implied malice or bad faith by the four women,” the court said.

Hill also issued another press release that referenced an email one of the women wrote that appeared to be meant for a friend but was mistakenly sent to an address associated with Hill’s office.

The press release referred to the email as a “draft story” that was “coordinated and changed under the direction of others.”

Hill’s license will be suspended as of May 18, and will be automatically reinstated after the 30-day period ends, the court said.