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Woman seeking lawsuit against Curtis Hill for sexual harassment push for changes at the statehouse

Posted at 12:37 AM, Oct 26, 2018
and last updated 2019-10-16 15:30:52-04

INDIANAPOLIS -- Four women are seeking changes in the statehouse and beyond as they pursue a civil lawsuit against Attorney General Curtis Hill for sexual harassment. 

All four women are anticipating a new sexual harassment policy which is set to be released before November 20 and they're hoping to see changes to improve what's happening in the people's house. 

State Rep. Mara Candelaria Reardon (D-Munster) was the first to come forward followed by Gabrielle Mclemore, Communications Director for State Senate Democrats, Niki DaSilva, legislative assistant for Senate Republicans, and Samantha Lozano, legislative assistant for House Democrats. 

The alleged sexual misconduct happened in the early morning hours of March 15, 2018, at a party at A.J's Bar in Indianapolis. The alleged behavior included suggestive statements and unwanted touching by Hill.  Hill did not deny touching occurred but said it was either incidental to conversation or movement in the bar, according to the prosecutor's report.

READ | No charges to be filed against AG Curtis Hill

"I felt like I had a duty to these women and to myself and to other women that this is not okay," said DaSilva. 

The special prosecutor, Daniel Sigler, decided not to pursue criminal charges against Hill, though he said he found the women's stories to be "true and credible."

"Their motives appeared sincere and I found all to be credible in their belief that Hill touched them in a way that was inappropriate," Sigler wrote. 

READ | Gov. Holcomb stands by call for AG Hill to resign despite prosecutor's decision not to charge

The four women are now moving forward with their complaints and they are focused on making sure the pending work of a bipartisan committee to create a sexual harassment policy at the statehouse is clear and uniform. 

"Getting rid of that internal debate that we all had when this happened to us is the first step in making this feel like it is our problem or we did something wrong," said Mclemore. 

"I feel liberated and free," said Lozano. "I am not going to allow the Attorney General to continue to keep me silenced. I know what I saw and what I saw was wrong."

The women also hope the proposed policy will cover all who work in or lobby state government, that an appeals process is included and that accountability is spelled out. 

None of which currently exists. 

"Then our collective voices can help other women in the same situation," said Rep. Reardon. "It's not part of my job to allow you to touch me. It's not. I don't regret any of it."

The legal team for all four women has filed paperwork informing the state of their intent to sue and paperwork has also been filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. 

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