Phil Hinkle Says 'I'm Not Gay' Amid Sex Scandal Fallout
The AP relays background on the controversy:
The Indianapolis Star reported that emails suggest Republican Rep. Phillip Hinkle arranged to pay Kameryn Gibson up to $140 for “for a really good time.” The paper published emails between Hinkle and Gibson detailing a plan for them to meet at a downtown Indianapolis hotel.
The Star reported Hinkle didn’t contest the emails but said he was "aware of a shakedown taking place."
In an interview with local Indiana station 6News on Wednesday, the embattled lawmaker said he made arrangements to meet Gibson in person, but denied any intention of pursuing a sexual encounter. The Star reported earlier this month that Hinkle exposed himself when the pair met in person.
The pair reportedly connected on Craigslist. Gibson indicated in a listing to which Hinkle responded that he is 20 years old. According to the Star, however, Gibson says he is actually just 18.
Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, a Republican, called the situation "a tragedy."
Hinkle suggested to 6News that his actions were "stupid," but that he did not break the law. "I don't know what was going through my mind," he said. "I don't know why I did what I did."
The Journal Gazette reported earlier this week that Hinkle indicated in a statement that he will not run for reelection in the next election cycle. The Republican lawmaker, however, stood firm in resisting calls for him to resign.