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Sister of Alleged Dennis Hastert Victim Hopes More People Will Come Forward

by Shelley Osterloh, Elizabeth Chuck and Erin Calabrese /  / Updated 

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The sister of an alleged victim of sexual abuse by Dennis Hastert said Saturday that she hopes others speak out in the case against the former politician and lobbyist.

Jolene Burdge told NBC News that she didn't want to talk anymore about the allegations surrounding Hastert, who served as House speaker for eight years, but said: "I just hope more people will come forward."

NBC News has made repeated attempts to reach Hastert without success since since he was indicted last week on charges that he structured bank withdrawals to avoid federal reporting requirements, then lied about it to the FBI.

He has yet to comment publicly as well on allegations that he sexually abused high school wrestlers whom he was coaching in Yorkville, Illinois, decades ago when he was a teacher.

Federal law enforcement sources have told NBC News that Hastert, 73, was paying a man in 2010 to silence him about sexual misconduct while he was a teacher in Yorkville.

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Burdge, of Billings, Montana, told ABC News and The Associated Press that another man, her brother, was an alleged victim of Hastert's. Steve Reinbolt, who graduated from Yorkville High School in 1971 and died in 1995 from AIDS complications, was abused while serving as the equipment manager of the wrestling team, Burdge told the media outlets.

A friend of Reinboldt's told NBC News on condition of anonymity that Reinboldt also told him years ago that he had sexual contact with Hastert.

"I was hanging out at Steve's house in December 1974, I seem to recall we went for a drive and he told me that he was gay. He also said that his first sexual encounter was with Denny Hastert," the friend said.

Another former high school wrestler, Mike McDade, told NBC News on Saturday he was surprised by the allegations against Hastert.

"He worked out my muscles and there were never any sexual advances or anything," McDade, who graduated in 1970, said.

Hastert was a strict but good coach, he said.

"My memories of Hastert were fond ones," he said.

Related: Ex-Speaker Hastert Indicted Over Cash Withdrawals

Meanwhile, Scott Palmer, Hastert's former chief of staff who once shared a townhouse with Hastert, told NBC News from his house in Maine that he had no comment.

"I haven't worked for the man for nine years," he said.

Editor's note: This story earlier referred to video of a man who appeared to be Dennis Hastert on a boat near Hastert's home in Plano, Illinois. When NBC News later spoke to the man on the boat, he identified himself as a relative of Hastert.

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