Special prosecutor to aid investigation of Indiana AG

A special prosecutor will help Indiana's government watchdog investigate allegations that state Attorney General Curtis Hill drunkenly groped a lawmaker and three legislative staffers, and eventually determine if Hill faces criminal charges, a prosecutor said Tuesday.

Posted: Jul 11, 2018 9:42 AM

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A special prosecutor will help Indiana's government watchdog investigate allegations that state Attorney General Curtis Hill drunkenly groped a lawmaker and three legislative staffers, and eventually determine if Hill faces criminal charges, a prosecutor said Tuesday.

Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry filed a motion Tuesday seeking a special prosecutor — a request promptly approved by a county judge. That prosecutor has not yet been appointed.

Curry said he had to seek a special prosecutor because Hill's office currently represents Marion County, the home to Indianapolis, in two pending civil cases. He said that in light of that legal entanglement it would be "inappropriate" for his office to handle any prosecution of Hill.

"Quite simply I am a client of the Attorney General's office," Curry, a Democrat, said during a news conference. "It would be entirely inappropriate for our office then to turn around and participate in a criminal investigation of the attorney general."

Indiana's Inspector General Lori Torres said Friday that her office is investigating the claims that Hill, a Republican, drunkenly groped four women at an Indianapolis bar early on March 15, at a party celebrating the end of the legislative session. Torres said Republican and Democratic leaders asked her to launch an investigation, and she promised a "full and fair review."

Curry said he expected that a special prosecutor would be appointed within 30 days. That prosecutor will review Torres' eventual findings and determine whether Hill will face criminal charges.

An internal legislative memo leaked to media outlets states that a female lawmaker and three legislative staffers allege Hill drunkenly groped them during a March party in Indianapolis. Democratic state Rep. Mara Candelaria Reardon and Gabrielle McLemore , the Indiana Senate Democrats' communications director, say they were among the victims.

Hill has denied the allegations and called them "vicious and false." On Monday, he rebuffed growing calls for him to resign.

On Friday, Hill called for Curry's office to conduct its own investigation, arguing that the investigation by Torres' office would not be "fair and independent."

Curry said that under Indiana law, the state's inspector general has the authority "to investigate matters arising out of state government and state employees," including criminal investigations.

He declined to comment about the allegations against Hill or whether he should resign.

"My only observation is that Attorney General Hill is correct as it relates to criminal matters and that is that he's presumed innocent until proven guilty. At this point the process will have to play out to determine whether anyone's committed any crime here, or not," Curry said.

Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb and Statehouse GOP leaders last week called on Hill to resign. And dozens of protesters rallied for his resignation Saturday outside the Statehouse.

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Mike Braun on Tuesday also said Hill should resign, calling the allegations "troubling and serious."

Democratic incumbent U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly, who urged Hill to resign last Thursday, is facing Braun in what's expected to be one of the nation's most competitive Senate races.

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Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 735462

Reported Deaths: 13480
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1006161752
Lake54169976
Allen40913680
St. Joseph36301553
Hamilton35807408
Elkhart28815442
Tippecanoe22464219
Vanderburgh22367397
Porter18921310
Johnson18063381
Hendricks17310315
Clark13032192
Madison12754339
Vigo12497249
LaPorte12073215
Monroe11945170
Delaware10750187
Howard9985218
Kosciusko9463117
Hancock8367142
Bartholomew8096156
Warrick7797155
Floyd7686178
Grant7094174
Wayne7069199
Boone6740101
Morgan6606139
Dubois6165117
Marshall6108112
Cass5886105
Dearborn583178
Henry5779105
Noble565084
Jackson503473
Shelby494196
Lawrence4591120
Gibson436892
Harrison436472
DeKalb430485
Clinton428453
Montgomery425789
Whitley397939
Huntington394280
Steuben391057
Miami383768
Knox372890
Jasper372049
Putnam363360
Wabash355280
Adams342655
Ripley340870
Jefferson331881
White316854
Daviess298399
Wells292081
Decatur285992
Fayette281962
Greene280485
Posey272034
LaGrange268870
Scott267454
Clay261147
Washington242132
Randolph242081
Spencer232731
Jennings230949
Starke218954
Fountain213746
Sullivan212242
Owen203056
Jay197630
Fulton196140
Carroll190220
Orange184454
Perry184437
Rush174025
Vermillion170044
Franklin168435
Tipton163345
Parke146716
Pike135334
Blackford135132
Pulaski117345
Newton108834
Brown102641
Crawford101415
Benton99014
Martin89515
Warren82615
Switzerland7948
Union71410
Ohio57111
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