Friday, August 12, 2011

Was Rep. Phil Hinkle a Victim of a Shakedown? w/Update

In encounters of the sort Rep. Phil Hinkle was involved in, there are always two sides of the story.  The version of the story of the young man Hinkle met, Kameryn Gibson and the man's sister, Megan Gibson, are detailed in the Star article. (I'll refer to the two by their first name to keep them straight.) In response, Rep. Hinkle admits the emails, but claims he's a victim of a shakedown, but did not elaborate. 

Rep. Phil Hinkle.
Assuming there was a clandestine meeting between Kameryn and Hinkle in the hotel room (Hinkle didn't admit to this in his brief comment to the Star), it calls into question Hinkle's sexual orientation.  As noted previously, that not something I care one whit about.  It's a private matter between Hinkle and his wife and none of the public's business.  However, if Hinkle felt that in order to be a public official, he had to remain closeted, living a lie by marrying, while seeking companionship in clandestine meetings in hotel rooms, I think that says a lot about how wrong our society has been in its treatment of homosexuals.  Young gay men in their 20s may think they are subject to hostility and discrimination for their sexuality, but it is undoubtedly nothing when compared to what someone Hinkle's age, 64, would have experienced had he come out at their age.  As a heterosexual man I admit I can only speculate to what it would have been like, but that speculation triggers nothing but compassion for a person facing a choice of living a closeted life or coming out and facing the harsh disapproval of society.

Turning to the article, the Megan's version of the fact make it sound like they were just good public citizens, ratting out to the media a public servant whose behavior they deemed "creepy."  As part of this story, the claim is that after an exchange of emails, Hinkle and the Kameryn met in a hotel room.  Sup a conversation in the hotel room,  Supposedly when they met in the hotel room, Hinkle told the young man he is a state representative. The way the story goes, the young man became so upset upon learning that information, he went to the bathroom to call Megan to pick him up so he could back out of the rendezvous.  According to the Star's story Hinkle offered the 18 year old his iPad, Blackberry and $100, which supposedly offended the sister but apparently not enough to keep her from taking those items.  Next the Star reports Megan driving when Hinkle's Blackberry  rings. She answers and it's a call from his wife to whom she discloses the fact that Hinkle is gay.   The story then is that during a subsequent conversation Hinkle's wife offered $10,000 for them to be quiet about the incident.   According to the story this so scared Megan that she went to the media with the emails and the story of the hotel meeting.

Okay, I'm going to call BS.  Let's look closer at what is actually documented, the emails.  Phil Hinkle found Kameryn's advertisement on Craig's list and contacted him through email.  The Star's story says Hinkle's email has "phinkle" in it and it says on the email from he email said "Sent from Phil's iPad."  We already know the Kameryn is computer literate.  Let's say he's interested in meeting the guy who sent the "phinkle" email from "Phil's iPad," what is one of the first things he's going to do before the clandestine meeting?  What would anyone do, especially someone 18 years old who grew up with computers?

That person would google the name "Phil Hinkle."  It would take all of about 5 seconds to find out Phil Hinkle is an Indiana State Representative.  The notion that the Kameryn went to meet a stranger at a hotel and then was so traumatized to learn Hinkle is a state legislator that he couldn't go through with the evening's activities, well that's difficult to believe to say the least.

Likewise Megan's substantial involvement in the story raises red flags.  Megan says she found Hinkle's behavior "creepy" but apparently has no problem with the morality of her brother placing the ad and meeting a stranger in a hotel supposedly for a paid sexual rendezvous?  Megan claims to have been so upset by the offer of $10,000 that she took the story to the media.  But while $10,000 bothered her, apparently she was okay with the offer of the iPad, blackberry and $100?

It's possible the duo's story is correct, but the BS meter is pretty loud.  Here's another scenario.  Let's say Kameryn went to the meeting knowing Hinkle. is a state representative.  Let's say he and Megan had decided they could make more money shaking down the legislator for an agreement to not talk about the clandestine meeting that they could with a random sex act in a hotel.  In my possible version, the Gibsons demand$10,000 for their silence and the Hinkles never came through with the money, perhaps wrongly guessing Megan would not carry through with her threat to go to the media.

I'm not sure if my suggested version is correct, but it seems as plausible as the questionable version of the facts the Gibsons offered to the Star..  If the Gibsons made a demand for $10,000 in exchange for silence, and there is no evidence yet to suggest they did, it could constitute the crime known as extortion, a felony.  While those possible facts wouldn't excuse Hinkle's reckless behavior, it would explain his use of the term "shakedown" to explain what happened to him.

UPDATE:  Channel 13 news today obtained an exclusive interview with Kameryn Gibson.  Here's what he said about the encounter:
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.
The BS meter goes again.  First, the Star never reported that Kameryn had a problem with Hinkle's age.  Previously Kameryn suggested what freaked him out and caused him to call off the rendezvous was when Hinkle revealed himself to be a state legislator.  As noted above, Kameryn had Hinkle's name.  You can't tell me he wouldn't have googled the name "Phil Hinkle" before their meeting.

But why might Hinkle being an elected official bothered Kameryn so much as opposed to someone to with a different profession, such as a plumber.? The reason would be that the elected official lives his life in the public.  A lot of people don't like that and steer clear of being involved with people who live that kind of life.  If Kameryn shies away from the public lifestyle, then why is he talking to the Star and, giving interviews to Kevin Rader of Channel 13?  To hear the Rader report, you'd think that Kameryn is not only willing to talk to the public, he did what he did because he's some sort of gay rights activist.

Yeah, right.  I go back to my theory that it could well have been a shakedown that fell through.  The Hinkles were asked for $10,000 and they didn't come through with the money, probably thinking that the Gibsons wouldn't go public as it would implicate them in a crime, i.e. extortion.  The Hinkles guessed wrong and now the Gibsons are working on a story to justify going public.  Not saying that's what happened, but it's a more plausible scenario than the story the Gibsons are spinning.


Gary R. Welsh said...

Paul, Gibson gave an exclusive interview with WTHR's Kevin Rader this evening. He says he thought Hinkle was a lot younger man and was turned off when he met him and realized how old he was. He says he decided to go public after he learned he was a state legislator with an anti-gay views. I'm sure he's not an innocent choir boy, but Hinkle is the adult with the experience who should know better than to get himself into such a mess.

Paul K. Ogden said...

I agree Hinkle should have known better. No doubt about that. I highly doubt though the rightgeous indignation of Gibson that he was somehow doing this out of some moral principle. I think what HInkle said that it being a shakedown is quite possible and would be illegal. But then again, Hinkle put himself in that sort of position.

Of course if Hinkle resigns, he is gonig to be a lapdog of Kyle Walker and gang. Hinkle was one of the few who had the balls to stand up to a Tom John or a Kyle Walker. You can bet his replacement won't.

Paul K. Ogden said...

Actually, that's another part of the story that doesn't make sense. The story the Star ran, which came from the Gibsons is that he was freaked out that Hinkle was an elected official and ran into the bathroom, decidingto call his sister for a pickup to end the rendezvous. (Now the story changes...he didn't like that Hinkle was so old, but let's stick with the original story they told the Star.) Why be freaked out by an elected official as opposed to say a plumber? Because what the elected official is in the public eye.

Some people don't want to have anything to do with that lifestyle and shun it. Yet we're supposed to believe that the young man suddenly had a change of heart and decided to go public after research Hinkle's voting record and deciding it was anti-gay?

That's highly unlikely. Maybe they're coming up with a cover story to counter possible extortion charges, assuming what Hinkle said about the shakedown is true.

Gary R. Welsh said...

Gibson is a hustler, pure and simple. It's not about the gay sex. Phil is a married man and it's an extremely cruel thing to allow your indiscretions to cause so much harm and pain to your family.

Paul K. Ogden said...

Gary Welsh said:

"Gibson is a hustler, pure and simple. It's not about the gay sex. Phil is a married man and it's an extremely cruel thing to allow your indiscretions to cause so much harm and pain to your family."

I couldn't agree more. I don't understand why men, it's usually men, can treat their wives like that. I would be very surprised though if she didn't know about Phil's leanings though. Usually the wife knows, especially one who has been married that long.

Greg Bowes said...

Paul, I may be showing my ignorance, but I tried to find a definition of extortion in both Indiana and federal law, and after a quick review, found nothing in state law, but only found 18 U.S.C 873 defining "Blackmail" as a misdemeanor, and 18 U.S.C.878 referring to extortion of foreign officials, or 18 U.S.C. 876(d), using the mail to send threats to damage reputation unless money is paid. The other references to extortion refer to using the mail to make threats of killing or personal injury, or in conjunction with certain public officials such as the President, or specified foreign officials. Without the mail or a high official (not a state rep), we are left only with the misdemeanor of Blackmail, admittedly still a crime.

Greg Bowes said...

Even the federal Blackmail statute does not work here.

18 U.S.C. 873
Whoever, under a threat of informing, or as a consideration for not informing, against any violation of any law of the United
States, demands or receives any money or other valuable thing,
shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one
year, or both.

Outing Hinkle as gay is not a threat of informing on him for violating a federal law.

Paul K. Ogden said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paul K. Ogden said...

That's interesting. I was pretty sure asking money for silence was a crime under federal if not under state law. I'll have to research the issue.

Jon E. Easter said...

Phil Hinkle was a victim of incredibly bad judgement.

Jedna Vira said...

Here is the crux of the problem. Hinkle has been married to a woman whom he pledged to remain faithful to; unless he took some weird vows that included gay sex outside the bedroom walls. Furthermore, if he is a Christian or had a Christian wedding, he also promised to God he would remain faithful towards his wife. He broke 2 promises. My heart aches for Phil's family, and to a lesser extent Phil. There are consequences to our actions.

None of us are perfect, there was only one man I know who can claim that, and he's the only one who can restore Phil's marriage and help him with his sexual addictions.

StevenBK619 said...

Let me guess which party Ogden votes for?! Hmmmm.

No, it isn't so obvious that Gibson would automatically Google Phil Hinkle. And even if he did, I am sure there are more than one. He would probably more likely search the name on Facebook. And since he was in a hotel in Indiana, he would probably assume it was a Phil Hinkle from outside the state, probably a business man traveling for work as is usually the case.

And yes, it is possible that once this young gay man found out who his potential client was that he was disugustted not only by his age and physical appearance, but also by the fact that he is an Anti-gay Repuplican official.

I would conclude that Hinkle probably tossed things of value to Gibson, almost forcing him to take them, in hopes it would be enough to keep him quiet.

Why would the Gibson's need to ask the Hinkle's for money? They would know that this is Blackmail. Plus in this day and age, they would know that they could get much more for interviews from the press and talk show circuits if they did go public.

So Mr. Ogden your theories are so desperate and flawed that they are almost as pathetic as Phil Hinkle.

Independent 1 said...

There seems to be some organized gay attack upon anyone who is the least bit objective toward Representative Hinkle.

Doug said...

I expect that the hustler's story is skewed in his favor and deviates from reality in some ways that would cast him in a less flattering light.

But, the deviations probably don't change the parts of the story that are most damaging to Rep. Hinkle:

1. He's gay.

2. He intended to cheat on his wife with the hustler.

3. He's taken public positions and voted for measures that are inconsistent with what he is apparently doing in private.

Quibbling over the details if they don't significantly undermine those three points probably isn't going to do anything but get Rep. Hinkle deeper into the morass.