Former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert intends to plead guilty to at least one of the charges leveled against him in a case linked to purported decades-old sexual misconduct, his attorneys indicated in court today.
In late May Hastert was charged with one count each of "structuring currency transactions" and making false statements to the FBI about payments he allegedly made to an unnamed individual to conceal "prior misconduct." Federal officials previously 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. He originally pleaded not guilty.
Today Hastert’s attorneys informed the court that Hastert would change his plea in a hearing set for later this month. No other information about the plea deal -- including to which charges he plans to plead guilty -- were made available.
U.S. Attorney spokesperson Joe Fitzpatrick said Hastert and the government have “reached an agreement in principle for him to plead guilty.”
Days before his initial not guilty plea, 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.
In an emotional interview, Jolene Reinboldt said she first learned of her late brother’s purported years-long sexual abuse at the hands of the future Speaker of the House back in 1979 when her brother revealed to her that he was gay and had been out of high school for eight years.
“I asked him, when was your first same sex experience. He looked at me and said, ‘It was with Dennis Hastert,’” Jolene said. “I was stunned."
Jolene said she asked her brother why he never told anyone. “And he just turned around and kind of looked at me and said, ‘Who is ever going to believe me?’”
Hastert and his representatives declined to comment on Reinboldt’s sexual abuse allegations.
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.