INDIANAPOLIS — Attorney General Curtis Hill pushed back Thursday against allegations of sexual misconduct when he was called to testify on the fourth and final day of the Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission hearing.
The hearing is to determine if Hill faces any legal discipline for the accusations of sexual misconduct at AJ’s Lounge in the early hours of March 15, 2018. The Indiana Supreme Court will decide whether to impose a penalty, ranging from a reprimand to removal of Hill's law license. The decision could take months.
In his testimony, Hill was adamant that he did not inappropriately touch any of the four accusers — or anybody — at the party at AJ’s Lounge.
Rep. Mara Candelaria Reardon testified on Monday that she and Hill saw each other at the bar. She said he leaned down, as if he couldn’t hear her, and put his hand on her back. She said he then slid it down her back and grabbed her buttocks. She testified that she believes his was intentional.
“You don’t just fall into somebody’s dress,” she said.
But when Hill was asked if he grabbed Reardon's buttocks he said, “Absolutely not. … It didn’t happen.”
Candelaria Reardon said she then said, “What the f---. Back off.” But Hill said he never heard her say that.
Hill said Candelaria Reardon was trying to speak at the bar, so he bent down to hear her and put his hand on her back to steady himself.
At the party, she was wearing a backless dress. Hill said he was “startled” to feel her skin instead of her back. He said his hand was on her back for “a matter of seconds.”
Hill said he didn’t have another interaction with Candelaria Reardon for the rest of the night. His statement contradicts Candelaria Reardon’s testimony that he said, “That skin, that back.” Hill testified that he never said that.
In her testimony, Samantha Lozano said she said to Hill, “It’s really hot in here.” She said he responded by saying, "Yes, you're really hot." He denied saying that to Lozano. He said he may have responded to that with, “Yes, it’s hot in here.”
Hill was also asked about the comment about “showing some skin” to get a drink. In his testimony, Hill said he was speaking to the night’s bartender, Sen. Greg Taylor. Hill said he said something along the lines of, “You want to get this guy's attention, you need to show some leg.”
Hill said he meant it as a joke, and that it wasn’t aimed at any particular person. He also said he was referencing the movie “It Happened One Night” with Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert. He said in the movie, Colbert showed her leg to get a vehicle to stop.
Another one of the accusers, Niki DaSilva, said Hill put his hand on her lower back. She said she reached behind her back to try and remove his hand, and he put it on her buttocks.
Hill denied ever touching her buttocks.
He also denied rubbing the back of Gabrielle Brock, as she claims. Hill said he doesn’t have a specific recollection of her.
Hill also said he became concerned the accusations were a political attack during a meeting with House Speaker Brian Bosma, former Senate President Pro Tem David Long, other legislative leaders and their staffers. He said when Bosma announced the confidential memo detailing the allegations had been leaked, he became suspicious of the process of their investigation.
After the memo came out, Hill said he was “going to fight.” He said it was a “complete breach of fairness.”
Hill was also asked about the accusations that he propositioned a former employee in Elkhart in December 2016. He said he knew the woman, Kathleen Bowers, from a dance competition in 2015. Both Hill and Bowers competed in the “Dancing With The Stars”- like event, but not as partners.
Hill said he used the word “hot” in conversations with Bowers after the event, but said it was in the context of a “sizzling” or “exciting” dance performance.
He denied using a conversation about dancing to speak metaphorically about sex, like Bowers said on Wednesday. He also denied saying to her, “We should f--- because it would be hot.”
Hill said he “never” said that to her. But he did say he used the expletive and the word “hot” in a conversation with Bowers. He said he told her, “We could've been f---ing hot,” speaking about being dance partners at the event.
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