Saturday, August 13, 2011
By Alex Campbell
Lawmaker calls encounter set up with young man on Craigslist a 'shakedown'
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 [email withheld], 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 [email withheld] 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?"
[email withheld]: "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., [email withheld] offered to pick up the young man at his Westside home and drive him to the JW Marriott hotel.
The final emails from [email withheld] 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 [email withheld]: "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 [email withheld].
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: [email withheld].
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."
Location: Indiana, USA
Frank went over to the Metallica section and found a CD that had recently came out, that he wanted real bad, but, he did not have the money to pay for it, and he knew it would be sold out real soon.
He glanced around and noticed their were very few people in the store, and he did not see any security cameras. Also, the store clerk was busy helping another customer. So he quickly slid the CD into his jacket pocket.
He then went over to where his friends were. After a few more minutes of looking around, they decided to leave. Well Frank forgot to think about the security labels they have on the CD's. So when they started past the doors, an alarm went off, Frank panicked, and started running.
Eventually a mall security guard caught up with him and his friends, and held them until the police arrived. When the police arrived, they questioned the boys and determined that Frank was the only one with stolen merchandise. He was then arrested and hauled off to jail. While in jail, he made his one and only phone call to his parents, who were very angry and upset with him, but eventually they did come down and pay the bail money to get him out.
A couple months later, he went to court and the judge sentenced him to 100 hours of community service, and 1 year of probation. Since it was his first time in trouble with the law, the judge wanted to scare him a little. He eventually completed his community service and was eventually released from his probation.
He was glad all that was behind him and that he could now get his life back.
A couple years later, he was in desperate need of a job, and he loved music, so he went down to the local music store to apply for a job. After filling out the application for employment, he eventually came to the box which asked, "Have you been convicted of a crime within the last 5 years?" And he didn't think much of it, and answered yes.
A couple days later, the employer contacted him for an interview. He went down and things were going good, until the employer came across the box checked yes. The employer asked him what it was about. He was honest and told the interviewer it was due to him making one bad mistake a couple years ago, and he stole one CD from a store at the mall.
The store manager said, "So you are a thief?" And Frank told the man he was not. The manager said, "Well, you did steal something a couple years ago, did you not?" Frank said yes. And the manager said again, "Well that makes you a thief, right?" Frank said, no, my past does not define who I am as a person, and I've learned from my past mistake, so no, I am not a thief, I am a person who made one bad mistake and stole something. If I was constantly going around stealing stuff, then you could call me a thief, but I am not. The manager then asked "Well, how do I know you won't steal something from our store? I have heard that people who steal stuff, usually continue doing so. So how can I trust you?" Frank said, well, you don't know if I will or won't steal anything, all you have is my word. You can either not hire me, or have faith in me and let me prove myself to you. I love music and I've always wanted to work in a music store. So I asked you to please have faith in me, give me a chance!
Well the manager trusted Frank and decided to give him a chance. Now, many years later, Frank is the store manager, and is planning on opening his own music store real soon, thanks to the man who gave him that chance.
So, the moral of the story is, your past does not define who you are. Just because a person makes one mistake, doesn't make them that person for life, or because you may have been abused as a child, doesn't make you a victim for life. If you always see yourself as a thief or victim, then you will always be a thief or victim.
I thought of this, after seeing the usual "Once a sex offender, always a sex offender" comment on another story. That is just the most ignorant thing I have ever heard. Using that same logic, you could say that a person who stole one thing in life, is and will always be a thief, which would include almost 100% of us. Or someone who used drugs once, is and will always be a druggie.
Of course this is not true, but many people believe it, when it comes to sex offenders.