'Individual A' sues Dennis Hastert for breaking hush money contract


ByChuck Goudie, Ben Bradley, Ross Weidner, Christine Tressel and Barb Markoff WLS logo
Tuesday, April 26, 2016
Individual A sues Hastert for breaking contract
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A lawsuit targeting former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert reveals new information about his alleged sexual molestation of a teenager decades ago.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Just days before he is sentenced, a lawsuit targeting former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert reveals new information about his alleged sexual molestation of a teenager decades ago.

That teen, now an adult, is demanding that Hastert pay him the rest of the money he was promised to keep quiet about the alleged abuse.



"We're seeking that Mr. Hastert make good on what he agreed to do," said Kristi Browne, attorney for Individual A.

Browne represents the man the feds refer to as Individual A. He claims Hastert promised to pay him $3.5 million to keep quiet, but still owes him $1.8 million because Hastert stopped paying when the FBI started investigating.

The alleged victim was 14 years old and had just finished the 8th grade. Despite not being on the team, or even in high school yet, the suit says Hastert offered to take him out of town. That's where Hastert is accused of "sexually molesting and abusing" the boy in a "motel room" they shared.

"Mr. Hastert was a longtime family friend, a trusted family friend. Mr. Hastert invited him to a summer wrestling and he attended that with Mr. Hastert," Browne said. "My client suffers from panic attacks and depression that's impacting his ability to get and retain jobs and it's certainly impacted his interpersonal relationships and it continues to do so."

Individual A will not testify at Hastert's sentencing Wednesday, but one other alleged victim will. So will the sister of a third Hastert accuser who died years "before" the former speaker's conduct came to light.

U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert is scheduled to be sentenced this week.

Former Assistant U.S. Attorney Tinos Diamantatos said he expects the federal judge who will sentence Hastert this week to not consider this civil lawsuit in his decision.

"I frankly think the plaintiff's lawyers just wanted to get something on file, just based on the appearance of the complaint," Diamantatos said. "Get it on file. It's out there now. It's public now. There is a thought this puts pressure on Hastert. I don't think two days give you a really good amount of time to try to settle the case."

Hastert's attorneys declined comment when reached by the I-Team.

Court records on file in Chicago describe James Doe as Individual A; one of five Hastert victims. Four are designated by the letters A, B, C and D. All are males.

The fifth, a man who died in 1995, is named. Here's what's the I-Team knows about the accusers:


Individual A was 14 years old when Hastert abused him, authorities state in court documents filed by federal prosecutors in April. At the time of the alleged abuse of "A," Hastert would have been in his 20s or 30s.

That teenager was among a dozen wrestlers who attended a camp with Hastert. As they stopped at a motel on the return-trip to suburban Yorkville, Hastert, who was the only chaperone on the trip, told Individual A to stay with him in one room. The other boys stayed in another room.

Investigators say Hastert told the youth he wanted to check on a groin pull the boy suffered. The boy was ordered onto a bed and Hastert allegedly told him to strip off his pants and underwear. The then teenager - now an adult - reports that when he realized Hastert "was touching him in an inappropriate sexual way," he ran across the room and sat in a chair.

Mr. Hastert's attorneys have questioned in legal filings whether the groin exam was actually sexual abuse. Federal prosecutors have left no wiggle room, stating: "There is no ambiguity; defendant sexually abused Individual A."

In 2010, Individual A confronted Hastert, asking asked why the former House Speaker abused him. In a court filing, Hastert is reported to have told him that he was going through "a confusing and difficult time in his life."

At another meeting, Hastert agreed to pay Individual A to compensate him for the abuse. Prosecutors portray the deal not as extortion but something akin to an out-of-court settlement. Individual A wanted to involve lawyers. Hastert refused. Monday's lawsuit appears to be that compensation coming full-circle.



Individual B was also 14 years old when he says Hastert abused him. The incident occurred when he was alone in the locker room with Hastert after a workout. B told prosecutors Hastert offered him a massage, and explained that it would help "loosen him up." Hastert, according to court records, "then performed a sexual act on Individual B."



Individual C was also offered a massage by Hastert, according to records, just as the teenager stepped out of a locker room shower. When the young man's towel came off and Hastert brushed his hand against the boy's genitals "Individual C recalls that it was 'very weird' and made him uncomfortable," according to legal filings. But Individual C said he wasn't sure the touching was intentional.



Individual D is the only one who may speak at Wednesday's sentencing. D was 17 when he stayed after wrestling practice to work on losing weight for a meet. As with other victims, Hastert told the teenager that massages would help him prepare. After Hastert removed the teen's pants, he "then performed a sexual act on Individual D," according to authorities in court records.



Stephan Reinboldt has been named by prosecutors, attributed to his sister Jolene Burdge. She also spoke in an interview with ABC News.

Burdge has told prosecutors that Reinboldt's first homosexual experience was with Hastert. Despite Hastert taking on a "father figure role" in the teenager's life, she described in painful detail how Hastert abused him throughout high school. At her brother's wake in 1995, Burdge confronted the then-Illinois congressman, telling him she knew what he'd done. Hastert, according to court papers, "just stared at her and gave no verbal response before walking away."