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Remember when we told you the story of the indictment of former Speaker of the House Denny Hastert, for allegedly paying hush money to cover up his sexual abuse of a former student known only as "Individual A," was only going to get worse? It's worse.


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In an interview with ABC News, Jolene Reinboldt says Dennis Hastert sexually abused her brother Steve, FOR YEARS, when Steve was the student equipment manager of the high school wrestling team Hastert coached in Yorkville, Illinois, in the '60s and '70s:

In an emotional interview, Steve Reinboldt’s sister Jolene said she first learned of her late brother’s purported years-long sexual abuse at the hands of the future Speaker of the House back in 1979 when her brother revealed to her that he was gay and had been out of high school for eight years.

“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."

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?’”

Not only was Steve the team manager, but he was also a member of the Explorer's Club Hastert ran, which involved taking high school boys on trips, including to the Bahamas. So Steve spent a lot of quality alone time with Hastert when he was a teenager, giving Hastert plenty of opportunity through the years to do unspeakable things. (Steve spared his sister the explicit details of what Hastert allegedly did to him, but repeatedly having sex with a minor seems explicit enough.) As Jolene says:

“He took his belief in himself and his kind of right to be a normal person,” Jolene said. “Here was the mentor, the man who was, you know, basically his friend and stepped into that parental role, who was the one who was abusing him… He damaged Steve I think more than any of us will ever know.”

What really pissed Jolene off, though -- and we sure as hell wouldn't blame her -- is when Hastert had the "brash" audacity to attend her brother's funeral in 1995. That's when she confronted him and, she says, "he just stood there and stared" and didn't deny it at all:

“Then I just continued to say, ‘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 got in his car and drove away. Jolene said Hastert’s non-response “said everything.”

Jolene contacted news organizations, including ABC, but of course Hastert denied the allegations, so that was the end of that. Jolene was forced to accept that the man she believed had molested her brother, the man who rose to one of the most powerful positions in the entire US of A, was never going to be exposed or held accountable. After all, Hastert was supposed to be the good and moral and scandal-free Republican who would clean up his party's mess. He did a real bang-up job of that, especially when he decided to keep himself "willfully ignorant" about allegations of sexual harassment of underage boys by fellow Republican Rep. Mark Foley, which, in light of Hastert's own current scandal, seems even more insidious and OMG YOU SICK SOM'BITCH than it was at the time, which was bad enough already.

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However, in May, Jolene was contacted by the FBI, presumably as part of its investigation that led to Hastert's indictment for lying to federal authorities about his many sizable cash withdrawals -- he paid a total of $1.7 million to Individual A over the course of four years -- and then attempting to outsmart the feds by repeatedly withdrawing just under the $10,000 amount banks are required to report, which is illegal. And, if true, proves that Hastert is not only a sick son of a bitch, but a pretty dumb one too.

BuzzFeed reported last week that investigators had spoken with "a second alleged Hastert victim" who was ultimately not included in the indictment. We don't know whether that pertained to Steve Reinboldt, or perhaps yet another person who may have been a victim, or had knowledge, of Hastert's alleged sexual abuse. Jolene says she doesn't know who Individual A is, but she believes there could be others. If the allegations of Hastert's abuse are true, she's probably right, since child molesters are notorious repeat offenders. It's never just the one time, and it's rarely just the one kid. Which is why Jolene is speaking out now, to encourage other possible victims to come forward.

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Hastert is scheduled to appear in court for arraignment on June 9. He has yet to issue any public statements about his indictment, though he has reportedly told "close friends" he is "a victim too." Too? As in, in addition to the kid or kids he may have diddled, because it really sucks to be blackmailed for being a child molester? UGH. UGH!!!

We shudder to imagine what else we'll learn as this story develops.

[ABC News]

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