"While the entire House Republican leadership team has compassion for Phil and his family, it is clear that Rep. Hinkle would best serve his constituents and our state by stepping down immediately and returning to private life," Bosma said in a statement.
Bosma claims that Hinkle's presence in the House is a "detriment to the continuing work of the Legislature."Hinkle apparently isn't taking his leadership's advice. "Hinkle admitted that he made some mistakes but said parts of the newspaper's story are untrue," Cox reported. Hinkle told Cox he has done nothing illegal and won't resign. Hinkle also told the Star that he and his family had earlier decided he would serve through the end of this term and not seek re-election next year. That comports with my earlier reporting that Hinkle was intent on serving out the remainder of his term before retiring when he turns 65 in order to maximize his retirement benefits for twelve years of service in the General Assembly. Bosma told the Star that he would begin the process of removing Hinkle from his committee assignments if he chooses not to resign. Still no reporting from the news media on the obvious question: Why isn't IMPD investigating the case?
UPDATE: I couldn't pass up the opportunity to mention a post on the Indiana Senate Democrat's blog entitled, "Lawmakers consider changes to combat sex trafficking." Apparently, the Indiana Attorney General's office wants the legislature to move quickly to make changes to Indiana law ahead of next year's Super Bowl in February based on testimony the office gave to the Criminal Code Evaluation Commission:
The Office of Attorney General Deputies David Miller and Abby Kuzma presented to the committee information concerning human trafficking for sex. The Attorney General’s Office testified that there are some deficiencies in Indiana law which will make prosecution for aspects of the offense of human trafficking difficult. Because Indiana will be hosting the next Super Bowl, Deputy Kuzma urged the committee to act quickly to move legislation to correct the deficiencies because, as she testified, it has been shown that large events, attended mostly by men, with a party atmosphere, result in increased human trafficking for sex . . .UPDATE II: The heat on Hinkle is turned up. WISH-TV's Jim Shella reports that House Speaker Bosma has stripped Hinkle from a committee chairmanship in the House and a summer study committee chairman position. Marion Co. GOP Chairman Kyle Walker has also renewed his call for Hinkle to resign.
Deputy Kuzma suggested the following changes be made to Indiana law:
•Criminalize a person who knowingly attempts to traffick a person who is less than 18.
•Insert language that lack of knowledge that the victim was under 18 is not a defense.
•Insert language that consent from a victim who is under 18 is not a defense.
•Amend language in the current law so that any adult who attempts to traffick a person under 18 years of age may be prosecuted. Current statute prohibits “. . .parent(s), guardian(s), or custodian(s). . .” from trafficking a person less than 18.
UPDATE III: We have an answer on the reason IMPD has launched no investigation: The Department says nobody has filed a complaint. And the Marion Co. Prosecutor's Office says it has done nothing because IMPD has not forwarded a criminal complaint to its office. Yeah, there's nothing like the Sgt. Schultz defense: "I know nothing." Here's a clue to IMPD. When your department has credible evidence that a crime has been committed, you have authority to investigate without anyone filing a complaint. It's a practice your department carries out daily in exercising its police powers. As to Prosecutor Curry, you have someone on your staff employed as a grand jury investigator who can convene a grand jury, subpoena witnesses and execute search warrants if you want to learn whether a prosecutable crime has been committed. It's like I've said before and will say again many more times. There are two forms of justice in this county: one for the common folks and one for the privileged elite. Criminal laws are used like a hammer to clobber the little people every day, while the privileged elite can break as many criminal laws as their hearts desire because they have immunity from prosecution.