Tags: Dennis Hastert | sex abuse | illinois | steve Reinboldt | jolene reinboldt

Woman Says Hastert Victimized Her Brother at Ill. School

Image: Woman Says Hastert Victimized Her Brother at Ill. School
Former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, R-Ill. (Jacques Demharthon/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 05 Jun 2015 11:12 AM

A woman on Friday identified her deceased brother as a sexual assault victim of Dennis Hastert while he was coaching high school wrestling in the 1960s and '70s in Yorkville, Illinois.

Jolene Reinboldt told ABC News that she had first learned of the sexual abuse of her older brother, Steve, in 1979, when he told her that he was a homosexual.

This is the second allegation of misconduct by Hastert to come to light.

Story continues below video.


"I asked him, when was your first same-sex experience. He looked at me and said, 'It was with Dennis Hastert,'" Jolene said. "I was stunned."

The future House speaker wrote in the boy's 1970 high school yearbook that he was his "great, right-hand man" as student equipment manager of the wrestling team. The teenager graduated in 1971.

Steve Reinboldt was identified by name for a first time in the ABC interview as an alleged victim, after Hastert was indicted for lying to the FBI and violating federal banking laws to make $3.5 million in payments to cover up past misconduct with a male high school student.

Reinboldt told ABC she never asked for money, but believes that the person Hastert allegedly paid off knows about her brother's story.

Steve Reinboldt died of AIDS in 1995, and Hastert attended his funeral, ABC News said, an act that infuriated his sister.

"I was just there just trying to bite my tongue thinking that blood was coming out because I was just … So after he had gone through the line, I followed him out into the parking lot of the funeral home," Jolene said. "I said, 'I want to know why you did what you did to my brother.' And he just stood there and stared at me.

"He didn’t say, 'What are you talking about?' you know, (or), 'What? I don’t know what you’re talking about.' He just stood there and stared at me."

Jolene said she then told Hastert: "'I want you to know your secret didn’t die in there with my brother. And I want you to remember that I’m out here and that I know.' And again, he just stood there and he did not say a word."

Hastert's silence — he got in his car and drove away, she told ABC News — "said everything."

ABC News reported that Jolene Reinboldt had contacted the station and other news outlets in 2006 — amid sexting charges involving then-Rep. Mark Foley — but it could not confirm her accusations and Hastert was denying them.

Hastert is due in court next week and has not responded to the charges.

The identity of the person whom Hastert was allegedly paying is still not clear. Sources knowledgeable in the case told ABC News that the former House speaker was paying a man — unidentified except as "Individual A" — hundreds of thousands of dollars to keep secret his sexual misconduct while he was the school's wrestling coach.

Jolene Reinboldt said that she had asked her brother why he never told anyone, "and he just turned around and kind of looked at me and said, 'Who is ever going to believe me?'"

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A woman on Friday identified her deceased brother as a sexual assault victim of Dennis Hastert while he was coaching high school wrestling in the 1970s in Yorkville, Illinois.
Dennis Hastert, sex abuse, illinois, steve Reinboldt, jolene reinboldt
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2015-12-05
Friday, 05 Jun 2015 11:12 AM
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