Woman takes stand to say Dennis Hastert molested brother

 
 

Jolene Burdge has taken the stand at the sentencing hearing for Dennis Hastert, who she says sexually abused her brother when he was equipment manager for Hastert's wrestling team at Yorkville High School.

Burdge claimed earlier this year in televised interviews that her late brother Steven Reinbolt told her Hastert had abused him during high school.

She has said Reinbolt revealed the abuse to her in 1979, eight years after he graduated. Burdge said the abuse lasted throughout her brother's time at Yorkville High School, where Hastert coached and taught until 1981.

Burdge, who is retired and lives in Billings, Mont., has told reporters Hastert was "like a father" to her brother. She told the Associated Press Reinbolt revealed to her his first homosexual experience was with Hastert. When she asked him why he never spoke up, he told her no one would have believed him, according to published reports.

Reinbolt died of AIDS in 1995 at age 42. Infuriated when Hastert showed up at her brother's wake, Burdge told reporters she followed Hastert into the parking lot and confronted him with the abuse allegations. He walked away from her without responding, she said.

Follow our coverage of the sentencing hearing in our live blog.

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