Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert was preparing for his first court appearance next week amid allegations he sexually abused as many as three people, CBS News reported. Among them, allegedly, was Steve Reinboldt, who was identified by his sister in an interview with “Good Morning America.”
Hastert was indicted in May for allegedly violating federal law by concealing the withdrawal of large sums of money and lying to the FBI about it. From 2010 to 2014, Hastert withdrew about $1.7 million in cash from various banks and paid it to one of his alleged victims “to compensate for and conceal his prior misconduct,” according to the federal indictment. The two agreed on a total payment of $3.5 million in 2010. The victim involved in the payment scheme was unnamed in the indictment and referred to only as “Individual A.”
The alleged abuse did not occur during Hastert’s tenure as House speaker from 1997 to 2007, but during his career at Yorkville (Illinois) High School where he was a teacher and wrestling coach from 1965 to 1981 before he entered politics. Reinboldt, another victim, allegedly was abused all through high school by Hastert. He was not the “Individual A” of the indictment because he died of AIDS in 1995, years prior to the payment scheme, CBS News reported Friday.
Former wrestlers at Yorkville High School and even one of Reinboldt's high school friends expressed doubt the abuse ever occurred. “Personally, unless Denny came to me and said, ‘I did something bad,’ I truly couldn’t believe it, wouldn’t believe it,” Mike Thanepohn, 61, told the Chicago Sun-Times.
Officially, Hastert was indicted for violating federal banking laws and lying to the FBI. He is not facing charges of sexual misconduct though at one point federal attorneys considered pursuing additional charges, Buzzfeed reported. Hastert’s arraignment is set for Tuesday in federal court in Chicago.