It is usually said that all good things come in threes, except for when it comes to politicians and sex scandals in 2011.
Indiana state Rep. Philip Hinkle -- following in the path of fallen U.S. Reps. Chris Lee and Anthony Weiner -- sought to pay an 18-year-old man "for a really good time" in a hotel room, according to an e-mail exchange revealed Friday by the Indianapolis Star.
The Star story details the interaction between Hinkle, 64, a six-term Republican who voted for a state constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, and 18-year-old Kameryn Gibson, whose ad he found on a gay section of Craigslist.
Within an hour of his post, Gibson received this response from Hinkle's personal e-mail address: "Cannot be a long time sugar daddy, but can for tonight. Would you be interested in keeping me company for a while tonight?" Hinkle offers "to make it worth (your) while" in cash and adds: "I am an in shape married professional, 5'8", fit 170 lbs, and love getting and staying naked."
It carried the tagline, "Sent from Phil's iPad."
When contacted by The Star about the e-mails, Hinkle did not deny them, but said, "I am aware of a shakedown taking place."
Hinkle would not elaborate what he meant by shakedown, instead directing further questions to his attorney, who said he 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."
Politico reported that Hinkle's press secretary referred them to House Speaker Brian Bosma for comment.
Bosma released a statement saying: "If the circumstances are as reported, it is an extremely sad and disappointing situation for all of us, especially the families involved. Our next step will be to try to discuss this matter with Rep. Hinkle and chart a course from there."
According to the Star, Hinkle and Gibson carried out an e-mail conversation in which Hinkle offered: "How about $80 for services rendered and if real satisfied, a healthy tip? That make it worth while?" A later e-mail concluded: "Final for the record, for a really good time, you could get another 50, 60 bucks. That sound good?"
The e-mail exchange contains no explicit mention of sex acts.
Hinkle then picked up Gibson and drove him to a local Marriott where, once in the hotel room and clothed in only a towel, Hinkle identified himself as a state legislator and showed him an identification card, Gibson said.
Frightened, Gibson withdrew to the bathroom, where he called his sister, Megan, and asked her to pick him up. At that point, Gibson said, Hinkle "grabbed him in the rear, dropped his towel and sat down on the bed -- naked," the Star wrote. When Gibson's sister arrived, Hinkle offered to give them his iPad, BlackBerry and $100 cash, the Star reported. Gibson and his sister left with the electronics and the money.