By Tyler Bauer
Let me start off by stating something that should be obvious but is important to establish. I don’t intend to demean victims of sexual misconduct or defend anyone who commits sexual misconduct. Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s get to what I actually want to write about.
The Curtis Hill Story
Curtis Hill is the Attorney General of Indiana and has served in this role since January of 2017. He has long been regarded as an up-and-coming political figure in the state of Indiana. However, his future doesn’t seem so bright anymore.
In the past month or so, four women have come forward to accuse Hill of inappropriately touching them. One of these women – Niki DaSilva – is actually a Republican staffer. While the party affiliation of alleged victims shouldn’t matter (I say alleged because nothing has been proven), the fact that a Republican staffer accused the Republican Attorney General of sexual misconduct disproves any claims of this being a politically-motivated attack.
So far, Hill has denied any and all allegations of sexual misconduct. Many members of state government – including many in his own party – have asked him to resign amid this scandal. Unsurprisingly, Hill has declined to resign. He is even going so far as to file a defamation lawsuit against his accusers. Hill claims that the leaked memo that brought these allegations to light contains false information that harms his reputation, so a defamation lawsuit is justified (if he can prove the accusations are false).
What I Like About #MeToo
I think I speak for all of us when I say that sexual misconduct is despicable. I’m glad we live in a time when victims of sexual misconduct – men and women alike – can come forward to expose some of the worst people among us. Anyone who commits sexual misconduct deserves whatever punishment is coming to them. I hope that the increased focus on sexual misconduct will have the effect of deterring future acts of sexual misconduct.
What I Don’t Like About #MeToo
In the #MeToo moment, society has developed a terrible habit of jumping to conclusions. The minute anyone is accused of sexual misconduct, they are guilty in the court of public opinion. I’m not saying Hill’s accusers are lying – I’m just saying that some accusers do lie. I’m a firm believer that anyone accused of any crime is innocent until proven guilty, so we shouldn’t jump to conclusions based on accusations alone.
Where Do We Go From Here?
Someone in this case is lying. Is it the accusers? Maybe, but we don’t know. Is it Attorney General Curtis Hill? Maybe, but we don’t know. One side of this story is telling the truth, and the other side of the story is lying about potentially the worst thing to lie about. If the accusers are lying, I hope Hill’s defamation lawsuit is successful and they pay for their lies. If Hill is lying, I hope he pays for what he did by spending time behind bars.
I’m not picking sides in this case. My side is the truth, and until we learn the truth, we shouldn’t be vilifying anyone.