The Chicago Tribune reported Thursday, citing anonymous law enforcement sources, that there are at least four people who’ve accused former House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) of sexual abuse and who authorities deem credible.
The newspaper confirmed the identities of three male victims, one of whom had died and whose name previously had been reported. The Tribune didn’t name the other two individuals, citing its policy on not disclosing the names of sexual abuse victims without their consent, while it was unable to confirm the identity of a fourth alleged victim.
Hastert pleaded guilty last year in a federal hush-money case that stemmed from paying a person identified only as “Individual A” millions of dollars to cover up prior misconduct. Several news outlets later reported, citing federal law enforcement sources, that the money was compensation for sexual abuse of a former male student at the Illinois high school where Hastert once taught.
“Individual A” declined to speak with the Tribune, but the newspaper did speak to an “Individual D,” whom prosecutors and a judge discussed in a hearing last month as possibly wanting to testify in the case.
“Individual D” told the Tribune that he is considering speaking at Hastert’s sentencing on April 27.
The Tribune reported that all the alleged victims it had identified allege Hastert’s abuse happened when they were teenagers and Hastert was their coach at Yorkville High School in Illinois. They all went on to graduate from college, the newspaper reported.
One alleged victim, Stephen Reinboldt, died of AIDS in 1995. His younger sister came forward last year to share details she said her brother told her while he was alive. Reinboldt told his sister he had sexual contact with Hastert throughout his time in high school, when he served as an equipment manager for the school’s football and wrestling teams.
The two other alleged victims were accomplished student-athletes, according to the Tribune. “Individual A,” who the Tribune described as a “middle-aged husband and father,” is reportedly a relative of one of Hastert’s friends and was coached by Hastert. He once listed Hastert as a job reference, according to the newspaper.
“Individual D” was younger than “Individual A,” and the alleged abuse would’ve happened late in the former House speaker’s time at the school, according to the report. “Individual D,” who is also married and has children, reportedly told authorities that he would prepare a statement detailing Hastert’s actions to be used in court—after Hastert called one of his relatives seeking a letter of support that could potentially get him a lighter sentence, an anonymous source told the Tribune.
The newspaper was unable to identify the fourth victim whose allegations of abuse authorities said were credible.
Hastert said in a court filing Wednesday that he was “deeply sorry” for decades-old misconduct and “prepared to accept responsibility” for his actions. His lawyers asked for probation for their client.