Alleged Hastert victim’s sister to testify
CHICAGO (AP) _ The Latest on the Dennis Hastert hush-money case (all times local):
A Montana woman says she will testify at the sentencing of Dennis Hastert about the former U.S. Speaker’s sexual abuse of her brother when Hastert was his high school wrestling coach.
Jolene Burdge of Billings, Montana, told The Associated Press Wednesday that federal prosecutors asked her to deliver a victim’s statement during Hastert’s April 27 sentencing in a hush-money case.
Burdge says her brother, Stephen Reinboldt, told her before his 1995 death that his first homosexual contact was with Hastert and that it lasted throughout his time at Illinois’ Yorkville High School. Hastert worked at the school from 1965 to 1981, teaching history and coaching wrestling.
Burdge says Hastert no longer can deny his guilt and she’s pleased the matter is finally coming to an end.
A federal court transcript says that an alleged sex abuse victim could testify next month at former U.S. Speaker Dennis Hastert’s sentencing in a hush-money case.
It’s the first time that the court has referenced sex abuse in the case.
Hastert pleaded guilty in October to violating bank laws in seeking to pay $3.5 million in hush money to some referred to in the indictment only as “Individual A.” The Associated Press and other media outlets, citing anonymous sources, have reported that Hastert wanted to hide claims that he sexually molested someone.
The transcript, provided Wednesday to The Associated Press by the presiding judge’s court reportr, recounts an unannounced hearing held earlier this week.
Prosecutors tell the judge that they recently learned an alleged victim, referred to as “Individual D,” is deciding whether to testify at the April 27 sentencing.
The transcript also says that a sister of another alleged victim wants to testify.
A filing in Dennis Hastert’s hush-money case confirms prosecutors intend to call at least one witness at the former U.S. House speaker’s sentencing.
An order posted Wednesday by the presiding judge doesn’t identify that witness. The same order also delays sentencing to April 27, citing witness availability for the previous April 8 date.
The order also indicates a hearing was held Tuesday on those issues without prior public notice.
Secrecy has surrounded the case since it began in June.
Hastert pleaded guilty to violating bank laws in seeking to pay $3.5 million in hush money to some referred to in the indictment only as “Individual A.” Prosecutors have spoken before about giving victims closure but never identified any.
Several new pre-sentencing documents are also sealed, including a supplemental plea agreement.
The judge overseeing Dennis Hastert’s hush-money case has granted prosecutors’ request to delay the former U.S. House speaker’s sentencing until April 27.
Judge Thomas M. Durkin said in a Tuesday filing that a status conference was held to discuss witness availability during the previously scheduled April 8 sentencing. The judge ordered portions of that transcript sealed, saying they deal with the witness’ identity.
The judge set Hastert’s sentencing for 10 a.m. April 27. Objections must be filed by April 8.
Hastert pleaded guilty Oct. 28 to violating bank laws in seeking to pay someone $3.5 million in hush money.
Durkin agreed at a hearing in January to push sentencing back from Feb. 29 to April 8 after Hastert’s attorneys said the 74-year-old Republican had health problems.