INDIANAPOLIS (AP) —
An Indiana legislative staffer on Thursday became the third woman — and the
first Republican — to publicly accuse state Attorney General Curtis Hill of
groping her at a March party, saying the Republican office-holder slid his
hand down her back and touched her buttocks when she reached to push his
Niki DaSilva is a
legislative assistant for the Indiana Senate Republican Caucus. She writes
in her account in The Indianapolis Star that she is the "Employee A"
mentioned in an internal legislative memo leaked to media outlets that
describes Hill's alleged drunken groping of four women at an Indianapolis
DaSilva wrote that
the allegations that Hill groped her, two other legislative staffers and a
state lawmaker early on March 15 at a bar party celebrating the end of the
legislative session, are serious.
"This is not a
witch hunt, nor is it a political issue. This is an issue of respect, safety
and basic human rights," she wrote, saying Hill's alleged actions that night
reflect "a deliberate pattern of unacceptable behavior."
Hill has repeatedly
denied the allegations and has defiantly rebuffed calls for him to resign.
Messages seeking comment were left Thursday with Hill's office.
Eric Holcomb and Statehouse GOP leaders last week called on Hill to resign
and Indiana's Inspector General, Lori Torres, is investigating the claims. A
special prosecutor will review her findings to determine whether Hill will
face criminal charges.
state Rep. Mara Candelaria Reardon and Gabrielle McLemore, the Indiana
Senate Democrats' communications director, came forward last week and
accused Hill of inappropriate touching them at the party.
In her account,
DaSilva said that when she arrived at the bar she joined three of her female
colleagues and was speaking to them while waiting to be served drinks when
Hill approached them. He seemed "rather gregarious" and asked her and the
other women why they were standing at the bar, she wrote.
"We answered that
we were waiting to order a drink and Attorney General Hill, without
hesitation, remarked, 'Ah, come on ladies!" she wrote. "You haven't figured
out how to get a drink yet? You've got to show a little skin!'"
DaSilva said she
was stunned and turned to her three companions to check whether she had
correctly heard what Hill — a staunch social conservative who is married —
had just said. She said they confirmed that he had told them to "show some
DaSilva said she
was "slightly irritated" by Hill's remarks and moved to another area of the
bar's serving area "to put some distance between myself and the hovering
When two of the
women she was with left the bar area after getting their drinks, DaSilva
said she was standing with the remaining co-worker and was just about to
leave to join others in the bar when her co-worker signaled for her to come
closer and whispered, "Please don't leave me alone with him. He's being
really weird" referring to Hill.
DaSilva said she
positioned herself between her co-worker and Hill to serve "as a buffer"
between them, but after a few moments Hill put his hand on her back.
"I was taken aback
by this gesture as we had never held a conversation before that night. I
felt his hand start to slide slowly down my back. I didn't want to bring
attention to his actions, so I tried to push his hand away inconspicuously
using my free hand," she wrote.
"When our hands
met, instead of taking this nudge as a cue to remove his hand from my lower
back, he grabbed my hand and moved both of our hands over my butt, lingering
there before releasing me."
DaSilva writes that
Hill then looked at her "with a grin on his face" and continued talking but
that she and her co-worker soon walked away from him, leaving her feeling,
"ashamed and frustrated."
praised DaSilva and McLemore for joining her in publicly describing Hill's
alleged actions at the party, saying that she's "very proud of these brave
young women that have found their voice to stand up and declare that power
is not consent."
DaSilva said that
after Candelaria Reardon told her May 15 that she had filed a complaint with
Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma about Hill's alleged groping of her, she
was interviewed by the Senate Republican Caucus.
She said she
eventually learned that "the inappropriate and inexcusable behaviors
exhibited by Attorney General Hill were experienced by multiple women of
both political parties, from both chambers and in varying positions within
stories may cause doubt in some minds. However, when these stories are
weaved together they stand as a strong testament to a deliberate pattern of
unacceptable behavior," she wrote.