Hoosiers Rally in Support of Victims of Attorney General Curtis HillPosted on: July 7, 2018, by : Jeff Turner
By Jeff Turner
Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill is facing increasing pressure to resign in the wake of recently surfaced allegations that he inappropriately touched four women, including a female lawmaker, at an Indianapolis bar in March at an event to commemorate the end of the year’s legislative session. The lawmaker inappropriately touched by Hill identified herself on Friday as State Representative Mara Candelaria Reardon (D-Munster) who in a Northwestern Indiana Times article shared the details of the alleged incident.
Though Hill has vehemently denied the allegations, which were leaked to the Indianapolis Star in the form of a confidential memo, several Indiana lawmakers of both parties, including Republican Governor Eric Holcomb, have called for Hill’s resignation.
This Saturday, infuriated activists, advocates, as well as other Hoosiers disgusted by this recent news held a rally outside of the East Entrance of the Statehouse, demanding Hill’s immediate resignation and for the Attorney General to be held accountable for his actions.
“He (Hill) compromised himself, and it’s difficult to be an enforcer of the law when you are compromised by it,” said Christina Smallidge, an activist in attendance. “He’s compromised his reputation. And some people don’t think that matters, that your reputation isn’t your job, that he doesn’t have the same ethics off the job as he does on the job.”
The Rally to Support the Victims of Curtis Hill was only half an hour long, but included three speakers, Kerry Hyatt Bennett, Legal Counsel at the Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Tracey Horth Krueger, Chief Executive Officer of the Indiana Coalition to End Sexual Assault, and Lael Wehner-Hill, Victim Advocate and Chair of the Indiana Victim’s Rights Coalition.
“The main reason (I’m here) is to support the women who have come out against Curtis Hill, to say I believe them and support them, along with all victims of sexual assault,” said Lehner-Hill after the rally. “I think he (Hill) needs to resign. I cannot advocate for crime victims rights with him having these accusations over his head. And because I believe the victims, I believe they have the right to have a safe environment away from the accused.” Lehrner-Hill is also a Republican, who said she voted for Hill in 2016.
Also in attendance were several Indiana lawmakers, including State Representative Cherrish Pryor, State Senator Karen Tallian, and State Representative Karlee Macer.
“I am here to support my fellow legislators, and to support women, their families, and fellow Hoosiers,” Macer said when asked why she had attended the event. “I know for sure that this (rally) will change this policy (for handling sexual assault and harassment claims), and we will know exactly how to handle this from start to finish with common sense. When asked if she had any message for fellow Hoosiers, she said “I think that the most important thing to say is that we are all in this together. I want to be part of making the change.” She also added, in regards to how people say “when you’re sexually assaulted or harassed it gets better with time,” that it’s “time to skip a generation.”
Over fifty people attended the event, carrying signs that read “Power is not Permission,” among others. Also repeatedly voiced was the #MeToo movement’s rallying cry of “Time’s Up,” in regards to those in positions of power guilty of sexual
assault and harassment.
“Indiana has had one of the highest rates of sexual victimization in the country for too long,” said Tracey Horth Krueger during her remarks. “It’s time to become leaders in the fight to end sexual violence…we are here to change the behavior and our environment by dismantling the pervasive cultural norms that keep victims silent and perpetrators empowered.”
Rally organizers, speakers, and attendees all joined the call for Hill’s resignation in the wake of the recent allegations that have been levelled against him.
Hill, at one time considered a rising star in the Republican Party, was elected Attorney General in 2016. Should he whether the storm and resist calls for his resignation, he would be up for reelection in 2020. But with the #MeToo movement continuing to force major entertainment, media and political figures to resign and be held accountable for their actions in regards to workplace sexual harassment and sexual assault, it seems unlikely that Hill has much of a political future at this point.
As of this writing, Hill has not resigned.