When an Illinois grand jury indicted former Speaker J. Dennis Hastert for lying to the FBI about bank withdrawals, court documents stated that money was intended to compensate “Individual A,” with several news reports subsequently suggesting that person was a victim of sexual misconduct before the Illinois Republican joined Congress.
One week later, the identity of “Individual A” remains a mystery, but a woman has come forward who says her brother was victimized by Hastert. Jolene Burdge told ABC News that her brother Steve Reinboldt was the student manager on Hastert’s wrestling team at Yorkville High School and a member of the Explorers troop that Hastert ran. Reinboldt told his sister he was gay eight years after finishing high school, she reportedly asked what was his first sexual encounter with a man. He named Hastert.
Burdge told ABC News that Hastert had “plenty of opportunities to be alone with Steve, because he was there before the meets. … He was there after everything because he did the laundry, the uniforms. So he was there by himself with him.”
The sister said she believes the abuse ended when Steve moved away from Yorkvile after his 1971 high school graduation. Steve Reinboldt died of AIDS in 1995.
She also repeatedly tried to get news organizations to write about her allegations, including in 2006 when she contacted ABC News.
Hastert’s Past Informs Boehner’s Disciplined Course
Sexual Allegations Follow ‘Sparse’ Hastert Indictment
Hastert Lobbying Firm Rocked by His Indictment
Slideshow: Hastert’s Time in Congress
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