After Hiding, Dennis Hastert to Make First Court Appearance – ABC News

Embattled former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert is slated to appear for the first time in a Chicago courtroom today where he will enter a plea and then be booked and fingerprinted by U.S. Marshals, officials said.

After more than 10 days hiding from the public eye in a sprawling Wisconsin vacation home, Hastert was spotted Monday making the four-hour drive back to his Plano, Ill. home to prepare for his court appearance. In a red t-shirt, he made the journey only with his wife and didn’t stop for reporters outside the Plano estate.

In late May Hastert was charged with bank fraud and lying to the FBI about payments he allegedly made to an unnamed individual to conceal “prior misconduct.” Federal officials told ABC News Hastert’s alleged wrongdoing involves the sexual abuse of a male student while Hastert was serving as a high school teacher and wrestling coach decades ago.

PHOTO: Dennis Hastert and his wife stop at a gas station on their way back to their home in Plano, Ill.

Last week the sister of a second alleged sexual abuse victim told ABC News that her brother, Steve Reinboldt, was molested by Hastert while Reinboldt was serving as his high school team’s wrestling manager in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

PHOTO: Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert speaks to lawmakers on the Illinois House of Representatives floor at the state Capitol in Springfield, Ill. in this March 5, 2008 file photo.

Decades later in Congress, Hastert often spoke about family values, and in sex scandals involving other lawmakers, presented himself as a guardian of children.

“Our children need to be protected and we are going to do everything we can to protect them,” he said in 2006.

Hastert has retained high-powered D.C. defense attorney Thomas Green for his case. Neither Hastert nor Green have commented on the bank fraud or sexual abuse allegations.

PHOTO: Dennis Hastert, top right, and Steve Reinboldt, bottom right, shown in the 1970 Yorkville High School yearbook wrestling team photo.


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