Woman Alleges Dennis Hastert Sexually Abused Her Brother

On Friday, an Illinois woman alleged in an interview with ABC News that Dennis Hastert sexually abused her late brother while the former House speaker worked as a teacher and wrestling coach at her brother’s high school.

Jolene Reinboldt, who contacted ABC and other news outlets with the same allegations nearly ten years ago, said she first learned about the abuse when her brother, Steve, revealed he was gay eight years after graduating high school in Yorkville, Illinois.

“I asked him, when was your first same sex experience,” she said in the interview. “He just looked at me and said, ‘It was with Dennis Hastert.’ I was stunned.”

Jolene said when she asked why he never told authorities about the abuse, Steve responded, “Who is ever going to believe me?” Steve passed away in 1999 of AIDS.

Last week, Hastert was indicted on federal charges for lying to the FBI and trying to conceal secret payments to cover up “past misconduct.” Soon after, the Los Angeles Times reported the misconduct was “about sex” and large payments to a former male student, identified only as Individual A, to stay silent about the alleged abuse.

Jolene said FBI officials showed up at her house two weeks ago to inform her of Hastert’s imminent indictment and to ask her about Steve.

Friday’s interview marks the first time a possible victim has been publicly named.

Watch the interview below:


ABC News Videos | ABC Entertainment News

 

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In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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