Four women have filed a lawsuit against Attorney General Curtis Hill, claiming that he touched them inappropriately during a party last year.
The plaintiffs in the lawsuit include state Rep. Mara Candelaria Reardon, a Democrat from Munster; Gabrielle McLemore, communications director for Indiana Senate Democrats; Samantha Lozano, a legislative assistant for Indiana House Democrats; and Niki DaSilva, a legislative assistant for Indiana Senate Republicans.
The lawsuit claims that their colleagues treated them poorly after the allegations became public.
“They’ve been mocked and ridiculed by their colleagues,” said Hannah Kaufman Joseph, an attorney for the women. “They’ve been the subject of very negative reactions by both legislative members, lawmakers themselves and the staff.”
According to the lawsuit, when Lozano went to Republican House Speaker Brian Bosma about the allegations, he told her that Hill was asked not to attend functions, but that it’s a free country and the state can’t stop him.
The suit also claims that DaSilva was so afraid that Hill would retaliate against her that she locked herself in her office while at work for over a month.
The plaintiffs additionally allege that several legislative assistants heard Sen. Jean Leising, R-Oldenburg, tell Sen. Sue Glick, R-LaGrange that the women who accused Hill of sexual harassment, “got what they deserved because of how they were dressed,” or similar words.
One of the goals of the lawsuit is to bring about systematic changes by persuading the court to require Indiana to update how it handles sexual harassment claims. The plaintiffs are also requesting for the court to require Hill to apologize for his alleged actions, admit that their constitutional rights were violated and seek monetary damages from Hill and the state.
Hill’s office released a statement saying that they will vigorously defend both hill and the state of Indiana.
“The lawsuit is related to allegations that have now been reviewed four times. The investigations all concluded without any recommendations for further action,” a release from the office said. “This latest legal action will be addressed in the court and through the proper procedures as established by law.”