The young man's name is Kameryn, which made me think of Bertie Wooster's Aunt Dahlia warning him that "no good can come of association with anything labelled Gwladys or Ysobel or Ethyl or Mabelle or Kathryn."
___________________Hinkle: I paid young man $80 for encounter
Saying he won't resign, lawmaker admits giving teen money for encounter
08:08 PM, Aug. 24, 2011Rep. Phil Hinkle, R-Indianapolis, admits he paid a young man $80 to meet him at an Indianapolis hotel. / Alan Petersime / Star 2009 file photo
State Rep. Phil Hinkle admitted Tuesday that he paid a young man $80 to have a good time
. But Hinkle insisted he isn't gay and doesn't know why he did it
He said that he understood why he's being stripped of his committee chairmanships and that he won't seek re-election. But he said he will not resign, despite House Speaker Brian Bosma's call Tuesday to do so.
And he said he did nothing illegal with -- or to -- the young man and that he himself was the victim of a crime. But he said he would not file a police report.
Hinkle offered his first public comments Tuesday since The Indianapolis Star revealed that the lawmaker used Craigslist to arrange to pay a young man to spend time with him Aug. 6 at a Downtown hotel.
But if Hinkle's comments seemed at times short of full disclosure or even contradictory, that's far from where the contradiction ends.
Hinkle's version of what happened that night in Room 2610 at the JW Marriott hotel differs greatly from the version provided by the young man and his sister.Kameryn Gibson, the 18-year-old who said he was looking for a "sugga daddy" in the Craigslist posting, told The Star that he tried to leave the room that night and called his sister Megan after Hinkle identified himself as a lawmaker. He also said Hinkle tried to keep him from leaving, exposed himself and then -- after his sister arrived -- offered them $100 cash, an iPad and a Blackberry to keep quiet
Hinkle's version: He never exposed himself and never offered anything to the Gibsons to keep quiet. Instead, he said, Kameryn Gibson stole those items when Hinkle was in the bathroom.
"These people," Hinkle said, "are lying through their teeth."
Kameryn and Megan Gibson stood by their story Tuesday.
Whatever happened in that hotel room, the events that brought them there are not in dispute -- and continue to form the basis for renewed calls for the Indianapolis Republican to resign.
Bosma said Tuesday that he spoke to Hinkle last week and told him he should spend the 2012 legislative session focusing on his personal life -- and not in the Statehouse.
"His continued service in the Indiana House is a distraction from that priority," Bosma, R-Indianapolis, said in a statement, "and a detriment to the continuing work of the legislature."
Bosma also announced Tuesday he was stripping Hinkle of his chairmanships of the Government and Regulatory Reform Committee and the Interim Study Committee on Driver Education.
Bosma has joined other Republican Party officials who have called for Hinkle to step down, but Hinkle fired back Tuesday, saying that it's not up to party leadership to make that decision.
"Those people didn't elect me," he said. "The constituents did."
Hinkle said he decided in December that he wouldn't seek a seventh term serving portions of Wayne and Pike townships. He also said that while he admits he made mistakes, resigning would be an acknowledgement that everything the Gibsons told The Star was true.
But why, so many have asked, did he even make the email arrangement in the first place, using the email address -- email@example.com
-- he had listed on his legislative website, no less?
"I don't know," Hinkle said. "I'm telling you, I don't know."
Usually he's in control of his actions, he said, but something changed.
"I was on the road to self-destruction," he said, "and I don't know why."
Hinkle said he's not excusing his actions, which he called "stupid, but not illegal." Both Hinkle and Kameryn Gibson say that money exchanged hands but that neither engaged in a sex act.
Hinkle also said Tuesday he's not a homosexual.
"I say that emphatically," he said. "I'm not gay."
For now, he said, he's focusing on talking to professionals "who understand that gray matter between your ears." He wouldn't be more specific about what kinds of professional help he is seeking or even why specifically he thinks he needs help.
Hinkle acknowledged he picked up Kameryn Gibson and drove him to the hotel, giving him $80 in the car. But when they arrived, Hinkle said, they simply made small talk about baseball and the view from the hotel -- nothing further.
"I went to the edge," Hinkle said, "but I didn't fall over the edge."
Hinkle then went to the bathroom, he said. When he came back out, he said Kameryn Gibson was gone -- and so were his money clip, his business card holder, his BlackBerry and his iPad.
Hinkle said he thought Gibson found out he was a state lawmaker when he looked through the money clip.
After Gibson had left, Hinkle said he spoke with Megan Gibson via his hotel phone. He said she mentioned something about talking to Fox 59 and being offered $6,000.
Megan Gibson denies saying that. A spokesman for WXIN said the station does not pay for news stories.
At that point, Hinkle said, he thought maybe they were extorting him. Hinkle said that his daughter later met with Megan Gibson and retrieved the BlackBerry, as well as his business card holder and state identification.
Hinkle said he never met Megan Gibson in person, and hopes that he and his lawyer will find hotel security tapes that prove she never came up to the room.
Hinkle also forcefully denied Megan Gibson's assertion that Hinkle's wife called and offered them $10,000 to keep quiet.
"Anybody who knows my wife," Hinkle told The Star's political columnist, Matthew Tully, "knows she would not pay $10 to keep a mistake I made quiet, let alone $10,000."
Kameryn and Megan Gibson on Tuesday both denied Hinkle's assertions."We didn't just talk about baseball," Kameryn Gibson said. He also reasserted that Hinkle exposed himself, gave him things to keep quiet and tried to keep him in the hotel room.
"He did try to hold me (in the room)," Gibson said, "because we didn't do what he wanted to do."
Megan Gibson called Hinkle's counter-allegations "crazy" and Hinkle "a liar."
"My brother would never lie about nothing so petty like that," Gibson said of Hinkle's denying that he exposed himself or tried to keep Gibson in the room.
Hinkle said he does not plan to file a police report about the items he alleges the Gibsons stole.
"I got everything back but the iPad," Hinkle said, "and quite frankly, if that makes them feel good, so be it."
Hinkle told The Star that it will be difficult to return to the House floor. But what he plans to do between now and next election, he said later, "will be a family decision."
He said that when he decided in December that this term would be his last, the idea was that he and his wife would take time to travel together.
"Hopefully," he said, "she still wants me to."
________________________Email rendezvous entangles state Rep. Phillip Hinkle
Lawmaker calls encounter set up with young man on Craigslist a 'shakedown'
07:52 PM, Aug. 12, 2011State Rep. Phillip Hinkle, shown speaking on a motion during the recent session, said he is "aware of a shakedown taking place." / Charlie Nye / 2011 Star file photo
Emails shared with The Indianapolis Star suggest that state Rep. Phillip Hinkle -- responding to a local posting on Craigslist -- offered a young man $80 plus tip to spend time with him Saturday night at the JW Marriott hotel.The emails, sent from Hinkle's publicly listed personal address, ask the young man for "a couple hours of your time tonight" and offer him cash up front, with a tip of up to $50 or $60 "for a really good time."
The email exchange is in response to the Craigslist posting in which the young man -- who lists his age as 20 in the ad but says he is 18 years old -- says, "I need a sugga daddy."
The young man told The Star that they met, but that he tried to leave after the man told him he was a state lawmaker. He said the lawmaker at first told him he could not leave, grabbed him in the rear, exposed himself to the young man and then later gave him an iPad, BlackBerry cellphone and $100 cash to keep quiet.
When contacted by The Star about the emails, Hinkle, a Republican who represents portions of Pike and Wayne townships, did not contest the emails but said, "I am aware of a shakedown taking place."
Asked what he meant by shakedown, Hinkle would not elaborate. He directed further questions to his attorney.
Hinkle's lawyer, defense attorney Peter Nugent, said he was unable to say what Hinkle meant by a "shakedown." Nugent said he is investigating the situation, but he does not know what happened Saturday. Nugent said he has not filed a police report and does not yet know whether he will.
Asked whether he had seen the emails and the Craigslist posting, Nugent said, "Oh, I've seen some emails, but not all of them." He would not be more specific.
"I'm trying to get to the bottom of everything involved," Nugent said.
Wednesday, Nugent faxed this "official statement":
"Representative Hinkle is aware of the inquiries by The Indianapolis Star and we are investigating the matter at this time. We request that everyone respect the privacy of the family at this time."
Hinkle, 64, who lists his occupation as coordinator for community partnerships for Wayne Township Schools on the Indiana House website, has been a state lawmaker since 2000. He is best known in the Statehouse for his interest in local government issues. On the website, he also notes he was a co-author of the bill that created the "In God We Trust" license plate.The young man, Kameryn Gibson, told The Star he posted the Craigslist ad in the "Casual Encounters" section under m4m
, which is shorthand for men for men. He used his adopted sister's email address.
Gibson said he and the man met but that they did not have sex. He and the sister, Megan Gibson, flatly denied any shakedown.
"I wasn't shaking him down, at all," Kameryn Gibson said.Megan Gibson said she contacted The Star because she thought Hinkle's actions were "creepy" and, given his stature, that his actions should be made public.
Megan Gibson also provided the email exchange, which she forwarded to The Star. She also allowed a reporter to inspect the emails, which she had kept, on her smartphone. The phone contained not only the email exchange but a call log that showed phone calls from numbers that match both Hinkle's cellphone and home phone.
The Craigslist ad was posted at 7:37 a.m. Saturday. The ad shows two pictures of Kameryn Gibson, shirtless with pants pulled below the top of his underwear.
The ad's text features one written line: "Email me and I'll tell you everything you need to know!"
Forty-seven minutes later, he received a response from phinkle46 @comcast.net, with the email signature "Sent from Phil's iPad.""Cannot be a long time sugar daddy," the email reads, "but can for tonight. Would you be interested in keeping me company for a while tonight?"
The email offers "to make it worth (your) while" in cash, and offers a personal description: "I am an in shape married professional, 5'8", fit 170 lbs, and love getting and staying naked."
Fifteen minutes later, Kameryn Gibson replied: "Yes I can!" He also sent along his phone number.
What followed was an email exchange between phinkle46 @comcast.net and Kameryn Gibson. One email from Hinkle's account asks "what will make you happy for giving me a couple hours of your time tonight?"
Gibson: "Wat (sic) can you give me?"Phinkle46 @comcast.net: "How about $80 for services rendered and if real satisfied a healthy tip? That make it worth while?"
The two agreed on the price and discussed logistics. An email sent at 9:44 a.m., also with the signature "Sent from Phil's iPad" and sent from Hinkle's personal account, lays clear the parameters for the tip: "Final for the record, for a really good time, you could get another 50, 60 bucks. That sound good?"
Later, about 5 p.m., phinkle46 @comcast.net offered to pick up the young man at his Westside home and drive him to the JW Marriott hotel.
The final emails from phinkle46 @comcast.net come from a BlackBerry. One such email suggests: "If u want to consider spending night u might tell ur sis so she won't worry. Would have u back before 11 tomorrow. No extra cash just free breakfast and maybe late night snack."
Gibson responds only with his address. At 8:45 p.m., he receives one final email from phinkle46 @comcast.net: "I am here in parking lot between bldg 1 and 2. U here?"
The email exchange contains no mention of sex acts.
Brad Banks, supervisor of the D Felony Division at the Marion County prosecutor's office, explained -- without being provided details of the emails -- that prostitution in the state of Indiana is defined as an agreement between two parties to have sex in exchange for money and that the agreement must be about both sex and money.
Kameryn Gibson provided the following account of what happened after that final email from phinkle46 @comcast.net.
He said Hinkle picked him up in a white car -- his suit jacket was hanging in the backseat.
When they arrived at the hotel, Gibson said he was given the room key and told to go into the hotel. They couldn't go in together, Gibson was told. About 15 minutes later, Hinkle arrived in the room, changed into a towel and then during small talk informed Gibson he was a lawmaker.
Gibson said the man showed him an identification card.
The ID, Gibson said, gave a name: Phillip Hinkle.
"My eyes got big," Gibson told The Star. "I didn't really know what to say, so I didn't say anything. It was just a shock."
Gibson said he had posted on Craigslist before but had never met up with someone. Knowing he was in a bedroom with a politician, Gibson said, he got cold feet.
"Yeah, I don't want to do this," Gibson said he told Hinkle.
He said Hinkle's response was: "You need to do this, because I came and got you, and I'm not taking you back until we do what we need to do."
Gibson excused himself to the bathroom. There, he called his sister Megan. She said she would come get him immediately.
When Gibson came out, he said Hinkle told him he couldn't leave. Gibson called his sister again. This time, Megan told him to put her on speakerphone.
"I started cussing him," Megan told The Star. She also threatened to call the police and the local media.
"He said, 'I'll give you whatever,'" Megan said.
But when they hung up, Kameryn Gibson said Hinkle grabbed him by the right arm, just below the shoulder. Gibson said it was then that Hinkle grabbed him in the rear, dropped his towel and sat down on the bed -- naked.
When Megan Gibson arrived to pick up her brother, she again threatened to call police and the local media.
Kameryn and Megan Gibson said Hinkle then offered his iPad, a BlackBerry and $100 in cash.
Kameryn Gibson walked past his sister and out of the room as she continued to yell at Hinkle.
"She was still going off," Kameryn Gibson said, "and I was like, 'OK, I think that's enough, I think he gets it.' "
Megan Gibson said that on the drive back, she began receiving a series of calls on the BlackBerry, including one from a woman who said she was Hinkle's wife.
"I was like, 'Your husband is gay,' " Megan said. "And then she was like, 'You have the wrong person.' "
Megan read her the email address: phinkle46 @comcast.net.
The line went silent.
"Just for a couple seconds," Megan Gibson said, "and the first thing she said was, 'Please don't call the police.' "
Phone messages left with Hinkle's wife late Thursday were not returned.
Megan Gibson said she then began receiving a series of calls from various family members -- including from Hinkle's son-in-law, demanding that his wife see proof of the emails.
Megan Gibson dropped off her brother then returned to the JW Marriott, where she showed Hinkle's daughter the emails.
Megan Gibson said on her way back, she received another call from Hinkle's wife.
"The first thing she said, she was like, 'OK, we will give you $10,000 not to say anything,' " said Megan Gibson, who said she was now becoming scared. "I was like, 'OK,' and I hung up the phone."
She soon got another call -- from the Marriott hotel. It was Hinkle. Megan Gibson told Hinkle that she had informed his wife and family that he was gay.
Megan Gibson said Hinkle's response was: "You just ruined me."