Comedian Andy Richter tells on ‘voyeur’ ex-House speaker Dennis Hastert
Andy Richter, 49, went to Yorkville High School between 1980 and 1984
There, Dennis Hastert, 74, is accused of molesting five boys during his time as wrestling coach
Richter quoted the court filing on Twitter, which mentions ‘a “Lazyboy”-type chair in direct view of the shower stalls’
According to Richter, the chair’s official role was to ‘keep boys from fighting’
Defense has asked the judge to spare Hastert time, citing Hastert’s deteriorating health and public shame
Comedian Andy Richter (pictured), 49, went to Yorkville High School, in the the Chicago suburb of Yorkville, from 1980 to 1984. Prosecutors have accused Dennis Hastert, 74, of molesting five boys
Comedian Andy Richter has recalled a Lazyboy-type chair he claims former House speaker Dennis Hastert positioned in front of the boys’ showers when he was a high school wrestling coach. Richter, who is now 49, went to Yorkville High School, in the Chicago suburb of Yorkville, from 1980 to 1984. Prosecutors have accused Hastert, 74, of molesting five boys during his time as a teacher and wrestling coach there between 1965 and 1981.
Richter quoted the court filing on Twitter early on Saturday, which read: ‘Individual D recalled that defendant put a “Lazyboy”-type chair in direct view of the shower stalls in the locker room where he sat while the boys showered.’
‘I remember this chair,’ Richter said on Twitter. ‘Purportedly “to keep boys from fighting.”‘
Richter said he hadn’t thought about the chair in 30 years and didn’t find it upsetting to remember it.
‘I’m just so struck by how easy it was to do that,’ he added. ‘Nobody questioned it.’
Allegations of abuse surfaced after Hastert was caught paying $1.7 million in hush money to one of the victims according to prosecutors. Four young men said Hastert sexually abused them while they were children.Three were wrestlers and one was a student-manager on the team Hastert coached.
Richter said in a tweet (pictured) that he remembered a Lazyboy chair mentioned in the court filing against Hastert. Prosecutor say Hastert placed the chair in front of the boys’ showers
Hastert (pictured leaving a federal courthouse in October last year) was caught paying $1.7 million in hush money to one of the victims according to prosecutors
One of them, identified as individual A, told prosecutors the abuse occurred in a motel room on the way home from wrestling camp.
Hastert, the only adult on the trip, told the 14-year-old that he would stay in his room while about a dozen other boys stayed in a different room, the filing states.
Individual A said Hastert touched him inappropriately after suggesting he would massage a groin injury the boy had. Prosecutors say in the filing that Hastert’s known sexual acts against Individual A and other accusers consist of ‘intentional touching of minors’ groin area and genitals or oral sex with a minor.’
The other former wrestlers told prosecutors Hastert touched them in the locker room at Yorkville High, after saying he would give them massages. Two of those wrestlers, who were ages 14 and 17, said Hastert performed sex acts on them.
Another wrestler said Hastert touched his genitals while he was on a locker room massage table, but he wasn’t sure whether it was intentional.
Student-manager Stephen Reinboldt (pictured as a boy) is one of five students whom Hastert molested according to prosecutors. He died in 1995
Prosecutors say Hastert, whose political career took him from the Illinois Legislature to Congress, was still abusing boys when he first decided to run for office.
The 74-year-old Republican was once second in line of succession to the presidency during his time as Speaker of the House.
‘While defendant achieved great success, reaping all the benefits that went with it, these boys struggled, and all are still struggling now with what defendant did to them. Some have managed better than others, but all of them carry the scars defendant inflicted upon them,’ the filing says.
Stephen Reinboldt, a student-manager mentioned in the court documents, died in 1995.
His sister, Jolene Burdge, said her brother had told her that the sexual abuse had lasted throughout his time at Yorkville.
Burdge had already confronted Hastert at her brother’s funeral and he could see ‘she had been deeply affected by what defendant did to her brother, and she was likely to tell her story publicly if anyone would listen’, the filing states. The statute of limitation on sex abuse charges has run out, leaving prosecutors to pursue banking charges against Hastert.
He made 15 withdrawals of $50,000 — for a total of $750,000 — from 2010 to 2012.
After learning withdrawals over $10,000 are flagged, he withdrew cash in smaller increments, taking out $952,000 from 2012 to 2014. Hastert’s fear, prosecutors said Friday, was that if he didn’t pay Individual A ‘it would increase the chance that other former students he molested would tell their stories’.
Hastert worked at Yorkville High School (pictured) between 1965 and 1981. Prosecutors say he was still abusing boys when he first decided to run for office
Court records say Hastert managed to pay $1.7 million to Individual A — handing it over in lump sums of $100,000 cash — starting in 2010. The payments stopped late in 2014 after FBI agents questioned Hastert about his cash withdrawals.
Prosecutors said Friday that it was a bank compliance officer who spotted the huge withdrawals. Pressed about the withdrawals, Hastert gave various explanations for what he was doing with the cash – that it was for vintage cars and for stocks, that he didn’t trust the banks – before he claimed he was be being extorted by someone he said was making a false sex-abuse claim. Hastert agreed to let investigators record phone conversations he had with the man, and prosecutors concluded the man’s tone and comments ‘were inconsistent with someone committing extortion’.
Days after pleading guilty, Hastert entered the hospital and nearly died from a blood infection, according to his lawyers. They also said he had a stroke and required in-home care.
Hastert, who pleaded guilty in October to breaking banking laws, is scheduled to be sentenced April 27. The defense has asked the judge to give Hastert probation and spare him prison time, citing Hastert’s deteriorating health and the public shame he’s already suffered.