My regular readers might remember the case of Dennis Hastert, the former high school wrestling coach turned politician, once second in line to the president indicted this year for banking fraud and lying to investigators; charges stemming from his attempts to continue paying hush money to alleged victims of sexual abuse, sexual misconduct, from my piece on Christianity and hate speech relating to LGBT rights or the mention in my piece on the Trump rape controversy asking if we want leaders like either person. Federal investigation exposing alleged homosexual relationships had with high school boys including the credible story of Steven Reinbolt told by his sister Jolene, as Reinbolt died of AIDS years ago; Ms. Reinbolt, now Burdge, has periodically gone to media trying to tell his story, that his first homosexual experience was with his teacher, his high school wrestling coach. Which is not only wrong, an egregious abuse of power and borderline pedophilia (only borderline because Reinbolt was in high school not any younger), but terribly ironic considering his voting record in political office. He led the charge to impeach President Clinton over what he did with Monica Lewinski, lobbied for a constitutional amendment to make marriage between one man and one woman, supported DOMA (the defense of marriage act) and voted against anti-discrimination laws, statutes for the LGBT community, knowing full well what he had done, that he was, among other things, homosexual himself. Another values party supposed to be public servant proving they are little apart from hypocrites hiding some of the most evident moral decay.
Credible journalistic rumor had Hastert, described as humble by news reporters, pleading guilty to one of the 2 charges faced, illegal handling of the large sums of cash or perjury to investigators at the federal level; well now it’s finally happened Dennis Hastert entered a courtroom Wednesday 2 weeks ago pleading guilty to breaking banking law. Burdge, unsurprisingly finds this unfair, sees it as him getting a pass where his victims did not; worse, though yet to be sentenced, under his plea deal where he admitted to wrongdoing as related to the charges, his sentencing recommendation is a measly 6 months. Hardly justice for the, at least 2 boys’, lives we are currently aware he ruined. On one hand it is a somewhat good thing victims will not be paraded in court to relive horrors they have doubtlessly tried so hard to forget, will not have to recall in excruciating detail how these starkly inappropriate relationships developed and how far they went for a whole nation to hear considering our 24 hour news cycle, cameras in every courtroom unless specifically motioned to be barred and we won’t vomit seeing said coverage. Massive drawback, they don’t get the closure of facing him in court and we don’t get the benefit of understanding fully what sexual crimes against children really are; media often criticized for sanitizing stories about this heinous type of child abuse, like in the case of Jerry Sandusky calling it a child sex story. A prominent news personality saying no, it is a child rape story and we aren’t so ignorant today as not to know the devastating effects of that. Adding to why Hastert should be further exposed is not only his job, his high ranking role in government he should never have been able to achieve, but what Steven Reinbolt reportedly told his sister when he both came out as gay and when questioned, revealed when and who constituted his first homosexual experience, Dennis Hastert. Asked why he never told anyone what his teacher, wrestling coach, supposed to be trusted mentor and friend was doing, he responded, who would believe me, who in this town would ever believe me; classic pedophile, predatory sexual behavior, using power influence, reputation to insure they never tell. Isn’t that what Bill Cosby did too and there are moves to put him in jail.
Here is an argument for removing statutes of limitation on sex crimes involving children, minors up to age 18, as if Jerry Sandusky’s Penn State and affiliated youth program hadn’t moved the needle enough; because, Dennis Hastert should be facing criminal charges for what he did to the person known as individual A, Reinbolt if it can be proven in a court of law. Remember Hastert violated banking laws to pay huge amounts of money to this person for their silence; indicating, whatever their reason, they wanted to speak out about their relationship with Hastert. Is it possible it was to ruin his reputation, derail his successful life when this person felt they had nothing, sure it’s possible but not probable. Why then would you pay them, why then would you twist yourself in knots, break laws, unless you had something to hide? That said, he should be serving much more time in prison, the rest of his life accounting for his advanced age, and under the charges for which he should truly be prosecuted; banking charges immaterial, unimportant compared to what he did to those boys. As it stands, when he does serve his 6 months, due to his known famous status, he will likely serve it in isolation, housed in a minimum security country-club-esque facility, or in general population with inmates having no idea what he should really be in for. Pedophiles aren’t liked very much, even in prison housing a host of other criminals.