Lawmaker refuses comment on email allegations

Rep. Phillip Hinkle (R)
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INDIANAPOLIS - A prominent state lawmaker's career is in trouble after he allegedly offered to pay an 18-year-old boy to come to his hotel room.

Emails shared with Eyewitness News' partners at The Indianapolis Star suggest that State Rep. Phillip Hinkle (R-Indianapolis) offered a young man $80 to spend time with him Saturday night at the JW Marriott downtown.

The rendezvous allegedly began on Craigslist, with 18-year-old Kameryn Gibson portraying himself as a 20-year-old, saying 'I need a sugga daddy.' The posting led to a response from the same email address Rep. Hinkle has used to communicate with constituents. The emails, obtained by the Star, read like this:

"Will be in town late this afternoon and staying at the JW Marriott downtown. Cannot be a long-time sugar daddy, but can for tonight. Would you be interested in keeping me company for awhile tonight? Will make it worth your while, in cash, at least. LOL," the email read. "I am an in-shape, married professional, 5'8", fit 170 lbs, and love getting and staying naked."

Nearly a half-hour later, the conversation between Hinkle and Gibson became even more direct.

"Forgot to ask, what will make you happy for giving me a couple of hours of your time tonight?" Hinkle wrote.

Thirteen minutes later, Gibson replied.

"[What] can you give me?" he wrote.

"How about $80 for services rendered and if real satisfied, a healthy tip? That make it worthwhile?" Hinkle responded.

"Yep. As long as you give me a tip! Can you pick me up?" Gibson replied three minutes later.

The two would eventually rendezvous at the Marriott, but both would get a little more than they bargained for.

The entire situation was the talk on Amos Brown's radio show on WTLC.

"It's tricky, because of the station we are on, I ain't getting down into the gutter part of this story. That is what really makes it a tragedy, because we are dealing with people's lives and we are dealing with people. Sometimes, good people do dumb things. Stupid things. Things that you question their judgement," Brown said.

Eyewitness News spoke with Rep. Hinkle's attorney by phone Friday morning. Peter Nugent declined an on-camera interview and asked that the media respect the family's privacy as they investigate the matter. Nugent went on to say that his client would have no comment on the story.

Gibson spoke to Eyewitness News Friday afternoon. He said when he was emailing Hinkle, he didn't know he was a state representative and also thought he was younger.

"I thought he was younger, so it would have been okay, but when I saw him face-to-face, I didn't think he was really about having sex, it was just, he needed somebody to talk to, or play with or something like that," he said.

That, Gibson says, is when he decided he wanted out of the deal. Later, he and his sister would take their story to the Star, claiming Hinkle tried to bribe them to keep quiet.

"Because we thought all these people with high power are getting away with stuff and how they're always talking about they're against same-sex marriage and stuff like that, but you end up doing this? That really has to come out to the whole world, basically," Gibson said.

During the meeting, Hinkle is reported to have divulged that he was a state lawmaker, which prompted the teen to call his sister to come get him. The teen and his sister are alleging Hinkle offered his iPad, Blackberry and some money if the teen refrained from contacting the media or the police.

Hinkle, who represents parts of Pike and Wayne Townships, did make a reference to a shakedown in the Star. He has served the last 11 years in the State House of Representatives and was on the City-County Council before that.

Governor Mitch Daniels addressed the story Friday morning.

"It's not for me to say. It's between he and his constituents. It's just a personal and family tragedy and I am sad about that," Daniels said.

House Speaker Brian Bosma issued a statement Friday morning saying, "If the circumstances are as reported, it is an extremely sad and disappointing situation for all of us, especially the families involved. Our next step will be try to discuss this matter with Representative Hinkle and chart a course from there."

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