Hastert Victim 'Individual D' Identified as Brother of Former Ill. House GOP Leader Tom Cross - NBC Chicago
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Hastert Victim 'Individual D' Identified as Brother of Former Ill. House GOP Leader Tom Cross



    Witnesses Praise Courage of Hastert Victim

    Victims of Dennis Hastert spoke in court Wednesday, detailing the pain the former House Speaker caused them before he was sentence to 15 months in prison. NBC 5's Trina Orlando reports. (Published Thursday, April 28, 2016)

    One of Dennis Hastert’s alleged victims was identified for the first time at his sentencing hearing as Scott Cross, the brother of former Illinois House GOP leader Tom Cross. 

    Previously known only as “Individual D,” Cross took the stand Wednesday to detail allegations of sexual abuse at the hands of the former House Speaker when Cross was 17 years old and captain of the wrestling team Hastert coached. 

    "I was alone with Coach Hastert in the locker room. Coach Hastert said I could make weight by giving me a massage. I trusted him," he said. "He pulled down my shorts, grabbed my penis and began to rub me. I was stunned by what he was doing, grabbed my shorts and ran out."

    When Cross finished his statement, applause erupted in the courtroom.

    "We are very proud of Scott for having the courage to relive this very painful part of his life in order to ensure that justice is done today,” Tom Cross said in a statement on behalf of his family. ”We hope his testimony will provide courage and strength to other victims of other cases of abuse to speak out and advocate for themselves.” 

    Hastert was sentenced to 15 months in prison Wednesday for breaking federal banking rules in a hush-money scheme attempting to conceal decades of sexual abuse. 

    "I want to say sorry to those I've hurt," Hastert said in court moments before learning his fate. "What I did was wrong and I regret it. They looked up to me and what I did was wrong."

    Hastert admitted in court to sexually abusing one of the victims, Steven Reinboldt. He added that while he does not recall abusing Cross, he "accepts his statement" and does not deny the allegations.

    Reinboldt’s sister, Jolene Burdge, also testified in court Wednesday, saying her brother detailed the alleged abuse to her before he died from complications from AIDS in 1995.

    "I hope I've been your worst nightmare," Burdge said. "What you did wasn't misconduct. It was sexual abuse of a minor."

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