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INDIANAPOLIS – There’s mostly silence at the statehouse surrounding groping allegations against Attorney General Curtis Hill.

Governor Holcomb is on vacation in Montana, but released a statement through a spokeswoman that “no one should be subjected to unwanted sexual advances.” He says he won’t comment further till he reviews the facts in detail. 

Hill, House Speaker Brian Bosma and Senate President Pro Tem David Long all released written statements but declined interviews.  Hill denied the accusations in a first statement, and in a second, blasted what he calls a “prejudicial investigation.”

The Indianapolis Star first revealed the existence of an outside report commissioned by Bosma, Long, and House and Senate Minority Leaders Terry Goodin and Tim Lanane to investigate accusations Hill groped a female legislator at a post-adjournment gathering at a bar south of downtown. A legislative staffer also accused Hill of groping her, and two other staffers said he hugged them or rubbed their back in ways that made them uneasy. The four accusers haven’t been publicly identified.

Lanane (D-Anderson) issued a statement calling on Hill to resign, calling his actions “totally reprehensible.” He says the attorney general must demonstrate “the highest levels of ethics and unquestionable character, and I believe Curtis Hill falls completely short of that standard.”

Hill’s statement confirms he attended the party but denies any inappropriate touching. He complains he wasn’t interviewed and has been denied a copy of the report.

Bosma and Long say the report wasn’t an investigation of Hill, but of the legislature’s responsibility to its employees. They say those employees have told us they believe our review of the matter has been thorough and fair.

Bosma and Long’s statement does say they’re trying to find out who leaked a report meant to be confidential — they call that leak “egregious.” 

Indiana Democrat Chairman John Zody has called on Hill to resign. Zody says the report alone is grounds for Hill to resign, even without any formal charges. He notes Hill is Indiana’s top law enforcement officer, and says the accusations from four different women call into question his competence to serve.

Indianapolis Senator Jim Merritt says he was blindsided by the Star report. He says Hill should continue to do his job, and shouldn’t be presumed guilty on the basis of a secondhand report. But he says the accusations need to be taken very seriously.

(Photo from the Office of the Indiana Attorney General.)