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Sister of alleged sex abuse victim to testify at sentencing of former U.S. House Speaker Hastert

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CHICAGO (AP) — A Montana woman says she will testify at the sentencing of Dennis Hastert about the former U.S. House Speaker’s alleged sexual abuse of her brother when Hastert was his high school wrestling coach.

Jolene Burdge, of Billings, Mont., told The Associated Press on 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.

 

Hastert, a former Republican congressman from Illinois, 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 pay the money to hide claims that he sexually molested someone.

The transcript, provided Wednesday to The Associated Press by the presiding judge’s court reporter, 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.