Alleged Dennis Hastert sexual abuse victim's sister speaks out

Saturday, June 6, 2015
A Montana woman has come forward claiming that her late brother suffered sexual abuse at the hands of former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A Montana woman has come forward claiming that her late brother suffered sexual abuse at the hands of former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert while he was a high school teacher in Yorkville.

Stephen Reinboldt was the student equipment manager for four years for coach Hastert's Yorkville Foxes wrestling team.

Reinboldt graduated in 1971. His younger sister Jolene Burdge now says that in 1979, her brother revealed to her that he was gay.

"I asked him, 'Stevie, when was your first same-sex experience?' He just looked at me and said that it was with Dennis Hastert," Burdge said. "And I just, I know I was stunned, I said, 'Why didn't you ever tell me, Stevie? He was your teacher, why didn't you ever tell anybody?' He just looked at me and said, 'Who is ever going to believe me in this town? Who is ever going to believe me.'"

"And I asked, 'Was it all through high school?' And he said yes. It was all through high school," Burdge said.

Burdge told ABC's Brian Ross that Hastert was a mentor to her brother both in school and outside where Reinboldt was a member of a Hastert-led Scouts Explorer post. The group traveled - one year to the Bahamas.

Exclusive: ABC's Brian Ross interviews sister of alleged sexual abuse victim

Reinboldt died in 1995 - his sister says of AIDS. He is buried in a cemetery that sits in the shadow of the new high school. Years earlier in the old one, Reinboldt was a student manager, national honor society member and active in theater and student government.

Hastert, then a congressman, came to Reinboldt's funeral. Afterward, his sister confronted Hastert.

"I just looked at him and I said, I said, 'I want to know why you did what you did to my brother,'" Burdge said. "He just stood there and stared at me and 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.'"

Burdge said she had no further contact with Hastert after her brother's funeral. She said she contacted a number of news organizations to tell her story, but it got no traction. She decided to go public after the FBI contacted her in mid-May asking questions about Hastert.

"I think this is just the beginning of the story," she said.

Reinboldt is not "Individual A" as outlined in the federal indictment that charges Hastert with lying to the FBI.

Prosecutors believe Hastert was paying someone hush-money to hide prior sexual misconduct. He will appear in court at the Dirksen Federal Building Tuesday.