Allegations against the former House speaker keep getting more disturbing

A woman has come forward and named her brother as an alleged sexual abuse victim of former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert.

The woman, Jolene Reinboldt, told ABC News the abuse took place when her brother, Steve Reinboldt, was the equipment manager of a high school wrestling team Hastert coached in Yorkville, Illinois. Steve graduated from high school in 1971. He was also a member of an Explorers troop run by Hastert.

Jolene said her brother revealed the abuse to her when he came out as gay in 1979. She claimed Steve, who died of AIDS in 1995, said his first same-sex experience was with Hastert, whom she described as having been like a “mentor” to her brother. Hastert wrote a note in Steve’s yearbook calling the high schooler his “great right hand man.” Jolene claimed her brother said the abuse took place “all through high school.”

“He damaged Steve I think more than any of us will ever know,” Reinboldt said.

Abuse allegations against Hastert, who was an Illinois-based Republican, last Thursday when the former speaker was charged with lying to the FBI and making illegal cash withdrawals. The indictment did not describe any sexual abuse, but it alleged Hastert withdrew the funds to pay an unnamed individual who was threatening to reveal “prior misconduct.” Though it did not detail the nature of the alleged misdeeds, the indictment strongly implied they were related to Hastert’s time as a high school teacher and wrestling coach in Yorkville.

After the indictment was unveiled, multiple news outlets reported the “prior misconduct” involved sexual abuse of a male victim. There were also reports of a second victim. Hastert has not responded to requests for comment from Business Insider.

Steve Reinboldt is the first alleged Hastert victim who has been identified. Jolene told ABC she named her brother in order to reach others who might be victims.

Jolene said she previously confronted Hastert about the alleged abuse when the former lawmaker made an unexpected appearance at her brother’s funeral.

“I followed him out into the parking lot of the funeral home,” said Jolene. “I said, ‘I want to know why you did what you did to my brother.’ And he just stood there and stared at me.”

Jolene said she previously attempted to contact ABC News, another news organisation, and advocacy groups about the alleged abuse in 2006. ABC claimed it could not corroborate her story at the time. Jolene claimed she was contacted by the FBI shortly before Hastert was indicted. If convicted, Hastert faces up to ten years in prison.

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