Dennis Hastert pleads not guilty on all counts, Facebook Frat Whistleblower: Penn State Did Nothing for Months After I Told Them About Abuse
June 10, 2015 Comments Off on Dennis Hastert pleads not guilty on all counts, Facebook Frat Whistleblower: Penn State Did Nothing for Months After I Told Them About Abuse
Dennis Hastert pleads not guilty on all counts
By Chris Frates, Bill Kirkos and Tom LoBianco, CNN June 9, 2015
Washington (CNN) Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert has pleaded not guilty to all charges related to lying to the FBI about $3.5 million he agreed to pay to an undisclosed subject to “cover up past misconduct.”
Hastert was arraigned in court in Chicago on Tuesday afternoon, amid reports he allegedly sexually abused former students.
The former House speaker has hired high-profile white collar crime lawyer Thomas Green to defend him in court. Green has defended clients involved in Watergate, Iran Contra and Whitewater.
Judge Thomas Durkin is allowing Hastert to be released on a pretrial release. Hastert had to sign and appearance bond of $4,500 which he forfeits if he fails to appear.
He was also barred from carrying firearms, had to surrender his passport and cooperate in giving a sample of DNA.
Hastert faces charges of lying to federal investigators and hiding bank transactions as part of a plan to pay $3.5 million in hush money to one of his victims, identified only as “Individual A”. Law enforcement sources confirmed a second alleged victim was interviewed by them and the sister of a third alleged victim told ABC that her brother had been molested by Hastert….
Facebook Frat Whistleblower: Penn State Did Nothing for Months After I Told Them About Abuse
James Vivenzio filed a lawsuit against Penn State today in Philadelphia court. The school “strongly disputes” his allegations.
By Holly Otterbein June 8, 2015
Did Penn State learn anything in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal?
Not if you believe a lawsuit filed Monday on behalf of James Vivenzio, the 21-year-old whistleblower who told authorities this January that the fraternity Kappa Delta Rho was running a secret Facebook page where members allegedly posted images of nude, unconscious women, drug sales and hazing.
At a Monday press conference about his lawsuit, Vivenzio, a former KDR brother, and his lawyer Aaron Freiwald made a number of stunning allegations about the frat and Penn State. Perhaps the most shocking among them is that Vivenzio said he told university officials about KDR’s alleged Facebook page months before he went to the police, but they did nothing.
Penn State spokeswoman Lisa Powers said in a statement that the university “strongly disputes the allegations in this complaint.”….
Vivenzio said that he initially told university officials about KDR’s alleged hazing by calling Penn State’s anonymous hazing hotline. Freiwald said that “was very quickly leaked, he found out, to all the members of the fraternity, and an effort was then made within the fraternity house to figure out who the ‘rat’ was.”
Then, in April 2014 — about eight months before Vivenzio went to the police — he said he met with Danny Shaha, a senior investigator in Penn State’s Office of Student Conduct, to discuss his experience at KDR. He said he told Shaha about the alleged hazing, drug sales and Facebook pages, and showed him reams of evidence, including text messages and screen shots. Since then, no one from Penn State has met with Vivenzio to discuss his allegations or to collect the evidence to this day, according to the lawsuit. Freiwald said the first time the university took action to address Vivenzio’s concerns, as far as he knows, was last month, when it announced it was shutting down the the KDR chapter for three years. PSU vehemently denied this.
Spokeswoman Powers said the school “offered [Vivenzio] extraordinary assistance on numerous occasions,” but “neither he nor his family were willing to file a complaint, provide documentation, speak with State College police or participate in pursuing the formal disciplinary process available to them, despite repeated encouragement from university staff.” She also said Vivenzio did not tell university officials about the alleged Facebook page.
Finally, Vivenzio decided to tell the police about his concerns in January of this year. His allegations prompted an investigation into KDR, which is ongoing. Still, according to Freiwald, police only contacted him for a follow-up meeting as recently as a couple weeks ago. Due to scheduling conflicts, he said, they still have not met.
Woman Says Dennis Hastert Abused Her Brother, Paying to Hide ‘Misconduct’, Catholic Archdiocese in Minnesota Charged Over Sex Abuse by Priest, Ex-PSU student sues school over fraternity allegations
June 9, 2015 Comments Off on Woman Says Dennis Hastert Abused Her Brother, Paying to Hide ‘Misconduct’, Catholic Archdiocese in Minnesota Charged Over Sex Abuse by Priest, Ex-PSU student sues school over fraternity allegations
– Woman Says Dennis Hastert Abused Her Brother in High School
– Hastert Case Is Said to Be Linked to Decades-Old Sexual Abuse
– U.S. Accuses Ex-House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert of Paying to Hide ‘Misconduct’
– Catholic Archdiocese in Minnesota Charged Over Sex Abuse by Priest
– Ex-PSU student sues school over fraternity allegations
Woman Says Dennis Hastert Abused Her Brother in High School
By JULIE BOSMAN and DAVE PHILIPPS JUNE 5, 2015
YORKVILLE, Ill. — As an enthusiastic young teacher and wrestling coach at the high school here, former House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert reliably had one student at his side, former classmates say. Stephen Reinboldt, a smart, slender, likable student who rose to become class president, was the wrestling team’s equipment manager. For four years, he arrived at practice early and stayed late, traveled with Mr. Hastert to overnight tournaments, even when only one wrestler was competing, and went for long rides in the coach’s sports car, sometimes driving it.
On Friday, Mr. Reinboldt’s younger sister, Jolene Burdge, said her brother, who died in 1995, was also sexually abused by Mr. Hastert, but hid the fact for years because he thought no one would believe him.
“Mr. Hastert had plenty of opportunities to be alone with Steve because he was there before the meets,” Ms. Burdge said on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” “He was there after everything because he did the laundry, the uniforms.”
The allegation comes a week after Mr. Hastert, who served for eight years as House speaker, was indicted on charges of making cash withdrawals, totaling $1.7 million, to evade detection by the authorities and lying to investigators.
Two people briefed on the F.B.I. investigation told The New York Times that Mr. Hastert was using the money to pay a former student hundreds of thousands of dollars to hide the fact that Mr. Hastert sexually abused him decades ago….
Ms. Burdge said she tried for years to get news organizations, including ABC News, and advocacy groups to pursue the story. She began in 2006 after it was revealed that Mr. Hastert had covered up claims that Representative Mark Foley, a Florida Republican, had sent sexually explicit emails to congressional pages.
She said she had given up on exposing Mr. Hastert. Then, two weeks ago, just before Mr. Hastert was indicted, she was contacted by the F.B.I….
Hastert Case Is Said to Be Linked to Decades-Old Sexual Abuse
By MICHAEL D. SHEAR and MICHAEL S. SCHMIDT MAY 29, 2015
WASHINGTON — J. Dennis Hastert, who served for eight years as speaker of the House of Representatives, was paying a former student hundreds of thousands of dollars to not say publicly that Mr. Hastert had sexually abused him decades ago, according to two people briefed on the evidence uncovered in an F.B.I. investigation.
Federal prosecutors on Thursday announced the indictment of Mr. Hastert, 73, on allegations that he made cash withdrawals, totaling $1.7 million, to evade detection by banks. The federal authorities also charged him with lying to them about the purpose of the withdrawals.
The former student — who was not identified in court papers — told the F.B.I. that he had been inappropriately touched by Mr. Hastert when the former speaker was a high school teacher and wrestling coach, the two people said Friday. The people briefed on the investigation spoke on the condition of anonymity because they did not want to be identified discussing a federal investigation.
It was not clear when the suspected behavior, which was first reported by The Los Angeles Times, occurred. Mr. Hastert was a high school teacher and coach in Yorkville, Ill., from 1965 to 1981, and the indictment said the recipient of the payments was from Yorkville and had known Mr. Hastert for decades….
U.S. Accuses Ex-House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert of Paying to Hide ‘Misconduct’
By MONICA DAVEY MAY 28, 2015
CHICAGO — J. Dennis Hastert, the former speaker of the House of Representatives, has been charged with lying to the F.B.I. and making cash withdrawals from banks in a way that was designed to hide that he was paying $3.5 million to someone for his “misconduct” from years ago, a federal indictment released on Thursday said.
Mr. Hastert, 73, the longest-serving Republican speaker, had worked as a lobbyist since leaving office. The indictment, announced by the United States attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, said Mr. Hastert, who was once a high school teacher and wrestling coach in Yorkville, Ill., had so far paid $1.7 million to the person, who had lived in Yorkville and had known Mr. Hastert for most of his or her life. Mr. Hastert worked in Yorkville from 1965 to 1981.
In 2010, during meetings between Mr. Hastert and the unnamed individual, the two discussed “past misconduct” by Mr. Hastert against the person, according to the indictment….
Catholic Archdiocese in Minnesota Charged Over Sex Abuse by Priest
By MITCH SMITH JUNE 5, 2015
CHICAGO — Prosecutors in Minnesota filed criminal charges on Friday against the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, accusing church leaders of mishandling repeated complaints of sexual misconduct against a priest and failing to follow through on pledges to protect children and root out pedophile clergymen.
The charges and accompanying civil petition, announced by the Ramsey County prosecutor, John J. Choi, stem from accusations by three male victims who say that from 2008 to 2010, when they were under age, a local priest, Curtis Wehmeyer, gave them alcohol and drugs before sexually assaulting them.
The criminal case amounts to a sweeping condemnation of the archdiocese and how its leaders have handled the abuse allegations — even after reforms were put in place by church leaders to increase accountability — and the charges are among the most severe actions taken by American authorities against a Catholic diocese.
“Today, we are alleging a disturbing institutional and systemic pattern of behavior committed by the highest levels of leadership of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis over the course of decades,” Mr. Choi said in a statement….
The charging documents also say that archdiocese officials knew that Mr. Wehmeyer used a boys’ bathroom at a parish elementary school instead of the staff restroom; tried to give an elementary-age boy a tour of the rectory in violation of policy; and took camping trips with boys where some of the sexual abuse was said to have occurred.
The archdiocese placed Mr. Wehmeyer in a monitoring program for priests facing complaints of abuse or other problems, but prosecutors said in court documents that the supervision and follow-through was “lax or nonexistent.”….
An Ohio judge in 2003 convicted the Archdiocese of Cincinnati of failing to report sexually abusive priests in the 1970s and ’80s. The judge fined the archdiocese $10,000, the maximum allowed, after the archbishop entered a no-contest plea….
describes graphic situations
Ex-PSU student sues school over fraternity allegations
Susan Snyder, Inquirer Staff Writer Monday, June 8, 2015
James Vivenzio says he thought pledging a fraternity at Pennsylvania State University would mean brotherhood and honor.
Instead, the 21-year-old from Great Falls, Va., says, he was force-fed buckets of liquor mixed with urine, vomit, and hot sauce; made to guzzle hard alcohol until he vomited; burned on the chest with a cigarette; and once was beaten by a member of Kappa Delta Rho after he failed to participate in a ritual.
And the university, he contends in a lawsuit filed Monday in Philadelphia Common Pleas Court, failed to act after he reported the abuse more than a year ago, including his telling the school about the existence of private Facebook pages fraternity members allegedly used to post revealing photos of females who may have been aware they were being photographed.
“It is not an understatement to say that I was afraid somebody could die unless the abuse, the Facebook . . . and all that was going on, were shut down permanently,” Vivenzio said Monday, reading from a statement at a news conference in his lawyer’s office in Center City. “I’m no hero and I’m certainly no martyr.”
The filing came the same day that Kappa Delta Rho’s national office announced it had expelled 38 of the 100 or so members of its Penn State chapter and put the rest on alumni status. Penn State last month suspended the chapter for three years after a university investigation found evidence of hazing, underage drinking, and sexual harassment.
The lawsuit seeks compensatory and punitive damages and names the university, the fraternity, and the fraternity’s national office as defendants….