ABC News: Alleged Dennis Hastert Sex Abuse Victim Is Named By Family
In an exclusive interview, ABC News is reporting the identity of an alleged victim of sexual abuse committed by former House Speaker Dennis Hastert.
Steve Reinboldt served as the student equipment manager of the Yorkville High School wrestling team. His sister tells ABC News he was abused during his time working with Hastert:
In an emotional interview, Steve Reinboldt's sister Jolene said she first learned of her brother’s purported years-long sexual abuse at the hands of the future Speaker of the House back in 1979 when her older brother revealed to her that he was gay and had been out of high school for eight years.
Jolene said she 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?’”
Hastert was indicted last week for lying to the FBI and violating federal banking laws to cover-up past misconduct. He's due in court next week and has not yet responded to the allegations.
You can head over to ABC News to read much more of the interview.
One important detailed revealed in the story is that Steve Reinboldt is dead. He passed away in 1995 of AIDS. That means he cannot be "Individual A" as listed in the indictment because the indictment indicated A was a former victim and was still alive.
That opens the question as to whether there are multiple victims. It also does not clear up who might have been asking Hastert for money to keep quiet. Jolene says she never asked for money from Hastert, but believes that “Individual A” is familiar with what happened with her brother.
Here's another nugget buried in the report:
In the two decades after Steve’s death, Jolene said that she tried to expose Hastert, even writing to ABC News and another news organization as well as some advocacy groups in 2006 after another congressman, Rep. Mark Foley, was discovered having sexually explicit message exchanges with a male underage page.
At the time ABC News could not corroborate Jolene's allegation and Hastert denied the claim.
So ABC News, at least, should not have been shocked by these allegations.