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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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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