Scott Cross, brother of Illinois Rep. Tom Cross admitted in a testimony at the Chicago Federal Court on April 27 that Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert had sexually abused him in high school.
Cross, 53, who had been referred to in documents as Individual D said Hastert, one of his brother’s political allies, had abused him during his senior year at Yorkville High School when he was on the wrestling team in 1979.
Hastert, the 74-year-old who had served as U.S. House Speaker from 1999 to 2007, pleaded guilty in October last year to breaking banking laws as he attempted to pay $3.5 million to a person named in court documents as Individual A to hide his past. He was sentenced to 15 months in prison and 2 years of supervised release on April 27.
Cross told the courtroom he was “devastated” after Hastert abused him in the school’s locker room.
In court documents, Cross, referred as Individual D, said he was 17 when the former speaker abused him after offering him a massage. It happened after practice one night when Cross stayed late to drop some pounds. According to the Tribune, Hastert suggested a massage could “take some pounds off,” but instead he removed Cross’s pants and performed “a sexual act” on him, according to the court filing.
Scott Cross, “it’s important for me to tell the truth finally about what happened to me. I could no longer remain silent.”
— Christy Gutowski (@ChristyGutowsk1) April 27, 2016
The Tribune had previously learned of Cross’s identity but did not to reveal his name until after the court appearance at Cross’s request, Cross told the Tribune he never talked about the incident to anyone until Hastert was indicted. Cross, a married father, said he has sought professional help in the years since the abuse and has had trouble sleeping, but it still causes him suffering.
The victim’s older brother, Tom Cross, 57, is the former Illinois House GOP leader. Tom Cross had viewed Hastert as a mentor.
In March 2013, Tom Cross said, “Denny Hastert was a mentor, a parent, and was a coach in so many ways and made them exceptional individuals as they went on in life.
“I also want to say thank you to Denny Hastert who has done so many great things for this state and political world, and we appreciate that on both sides of the aisle, I know.”
After the accusations, Hastert even asked Tom Cross to write a letter of support. By then Cross knew about the sexual abuse his brother had suffered and did not respond, according to the Tribune.
Scott Cross, after emotional testimony of the lifelong trauma he experienced from Hastert sexual abuse, has left the courtroom.
— Julie Bosman (@juliebosman) April 27, 2016
Prosecutors during the trial said the victims, referred to as Individuals A, B, C, and D were between 14 and 17 when they were abused, while Hastert was in his 20s and 30s. The incidents happened in a motel and the locker room at Yorkville High School outside Chicago. Prosecutors also described how Hastert sat in a recliner chair in the locker room with a direct view of the showers.
“I can tell you, there are nine victims, not five,” Scott Cross said. “I know, I’ve confirmed there are nine.” https://t.co/1LjfWGBA2f
— Dana Rubinstein (@danarubinstein) April 27, 2016
All victims were males and only one was named before Cross revealed his identity—Stephen Reinboldt died in 1995 of AIDS.
Since the statute of limitations on the sex offenses ran out decades ago, prosecutors instead charged Hastert with dodging bank reporting requirements when he withdrew the money to hide his past.
Meanwhile, Hastert told the court he was “deeply ashamed, and said he “mistreated” some of the students he coached.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.