In a bizarre turn of events, embattled Indiana state representative Phillip Hinkle has admitted to paying a young man $80 — but claims that he wasn’t paying for a sexual encounter.
Hinkle, 64, acknowledged that he paid 18-year-old Kameryn Gibson “to have a good time,” yet insists in an interview with The Indianapolis Star that he had no intentions to have sex with him.
The Star reported last week that Gibson met up with the legislator after Hinkle answered Gibson’s ad on Craigslist, which read that he was looking for a “sugga daddy.”
The pair met at the Indianapolis JW Marriott hotel, where Gibson said that even though Hinkle offered him $80 plus tip to spend time, he got cold feet when he found out Hinkle was a lawmaker.
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Gibson stated that Hinkle then tried to keep him from leaving, exposed himself to the teenager, and then offered him and his sister cash and expensive electronic devices in exchange for their silence about the encounter.
Hinkle told The Star that he is not gay and “doesn’t know” why he responded to the ad nor why he paid Gibson. He also acknowledged his actions while stupid were in no way criminal and in response to public statements made by the Gibson siblings told the Star, “These people are lying through their teeth.”
Kameryn and his sister are standing by their story.
On Tuesday, Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma told the media that he was stripping Hinkle of his chairmanships of the Government and Regulatory Reform Committee and the Interim Study Committee on Driver Education.
The Speaker also pleaded for Hinkle to step down from his position as a state representative, saying he should take time to focus on his personal life.
“His continued service in the Indiana House is a distraction from that priority,” Bosma said in a statement, “and a detriment to the continuing work of the legislature.”
Hinkle said resigning would be an acknowledgment that the Gibsons’ version of the encounter was the truth.
When asked why he had contacted Gibson and why he had used his personal email address, Hinkle replied, “I don’t know. I’m telling you, I don’t know.”
Hinkle has also denied that he is gay.
“I say that emphatically,” he said. “I’m not gay.”