Protesters urge Indiana attorney general to resign

July 7 (Reuters) - Women's and victims' rights groups rallied in Indianapolis, Indiana, on Saturday to urge the state's attorney general to resign following allegations that he had inappropriately touched four women.

The rally followed mounting calls for the resignation of Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill, who has denied the allegations against him and is refusing to step down.

About 50 people gathered on the steps of the Indiana Statehouse under cloudless skies to call on Hill to leave office, many holding placards saying: "Power is not permission."

Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb on Thursday joined Senate President David Long and House Speaker Brian Bosma in calling on Hill to resign following sexual harassment allegations that were uncovered by a legislative investigation. All four men are Republicans.

"The findings of the recent legislative report are disturbing and, at a minimum, show a violation of the state's zero tolerance sexual harassment policy," Holcomb said in a statement.

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Politicians, lawmakers accused of sexual harassment, assault and misconduct
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Politicians, lawmakers accused of sexual harassment, assault and misconduct

Several women have come forward accusing President Donald Trump of unwanted touching or kissing. Trump has called the sexual harassment claims 'fake news.'

(REUTERS/Yuri Gripas)

Bill Clinton faced numerous allegations of sexual assault and misconduct while he was president of the United States, with accusers including Juanita Broaddrick, who accused him of rape, Kathleen Willey who said he groped her and Paula Jones who said he exposed himself to her without consent.

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Roy Moore faced multiple allegations of sexual misconduct with underaged girls.

(Carlo Allegri / Reuters)

Several women have accused former President George H.W. Bush of groping them during photo ops.

(REUTERS/Donna Carson)

Sen. Al Franken resigned after he was accused of kissing and groping a woman without her consent during a United Service Organizations (USO) tour in 2006.

(Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

A woman testified that her extra-martial affair with Missouri Governor Eric Greitens was not always consensual. The accuser claimed Greitens took a nude photo of her to use as blackmail and coerced her into having oral sex.

(St. Louis Metropolitan Police Dept./Handout via REUTERS)

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman was accused in May 2018 of physically abusing four women who he had been romantically involved with, according to The New Yorker.

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A former aide of Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Va., says she was fired after she refused his advances.

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Rep. Trent Franks, R-Arizona, resigned after he was accused of asking former female staffers to be surrogate mothers for his child. 

(Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Ruben Kihuen, D-Nev., was accused of making unwanted sexual advances to multiple women.

(Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, was accused of using taxpayer money for a sexual harassment settlement with his former communications director, according to Politico. He announced in December that he wouldn't be seeking reelection. 

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Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) has been accused of unwanted sexual advances by former staffers.

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California Assemblymember Matt Dababneh was accused of masturbating in front of a woman in 2016, according to the Los Angeles Times.

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In 1992 multiple women came forward against Senator Brock Adams accusing him of sexually harassing, molesting or assaulting them.

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The Congressional Office of Compliance reportedly shelled out $100,000 to settle sexual harassment claims against U.S. Rep. Eric Massa, D-New York.

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Congressman Mark Foley, R-Florida, resigned in 2006 amid reports that he sent sexually explicit messages to at least one underage male former page. 

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Rep. Patrick Meehan, R-Pa., called a young former aide his 'soul mate,' but denied sexually harassing her.

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Rep. Dan Johnson, R-Kentucky, was facing sexual assault accusations and reportedly committed suicide.

(Kentucky Legislative Research Commission via REUTERS)

Former U.S. Congressman Anthony Weiner was sentenced in 2017 after pleading guilty to one count of sending obscene messages to a minor, ending an investigation into a "sexting" scandal that played a role in the 2016 US presidential election.

(REUTERS/Lucas Jackson)

Former U.S. Rep. David Wu, D-Oregon, resigned from his position in 2011 after accusations of an 'unwanted sexual encounter' from the 18-year-old daughter of a donor.

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Former Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain dropped out of the race in December 2011 amid accusations of sexual misconduct.

(REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

Former U.S. Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert was sentenced to 15 months in prison in 2016 for attempting to skirt banking regulations in order to conceal hush money payments intended to cover up sex abuse allegations stemming from the time he was a high school wrestling coach at a far west suburban Chicago high school decades ago.

(REUTERS/Frank Polich)

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The report by the Taft Stettinius & Hollister law firm, prepared at the request of legislative leaders, cited four women who said they were groped by Hill in the early hours of March 15 at an Indianapolis bar where several lawmakers and aides had gathered following the close of the legislative session.

The report, dated June 18, was made public on Monday by the Indy Star, which did not reveal the alleged victims' names.

There was a "fundamental lack of fairness and due process" in the investigation, Hill said in a statement on Friday, and demanded a separate probe by the county prosecutor's office "where my constitutional rights are respected and protected."

"I am not resigning," Hill also declared on Twitter. "The allegations against me are vicious and false. At no time did I ever grab or touch anyone inappropriately."

But two women, State Representative Mara Candelaria Reardon, a Democrat, and Gabrielle McLemore, communications director for the Indiana Senate Democrats, identified themselves as two of the victims on Friday in letters to the Indy Star.

(Reporting by Peter Szekely, editing by G Crosse)

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