This Republican was once third in line for the presidency

On Capitol Hill they called him “Coach.” But Dennis Hastert was a sexual predator who once preyed upon the members of a high school wrestling team in Yorkville, Illinois, in the late sixties and early seventies.

For months, federal authorities have hinted at the motive behind the hush-money payments former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hasterthastert bush has admitted to making: the sexual abuse of a teenage boy when Hastert was still a suburban high school teacher and wrestling coach.

But now, a Tribune investigation has uncovered new details of the case — at least four people have made what law enforcement sources say are credible allegations of sexual abuse against Hastert.

The Tribune has determined the identities of three of them, all men, whose allegations stretch over a decade when they were teenagers and Hastert was their coach.

While the original indictment for banking violations revolved around one former team member who requested payments for his continued silence, for which Hastert’s lawyer offered this offensive statement…

Tom Green did not specify any sexual abuse by his client but did say Hastert was apologetic and had suffered humiliation and shame.

“Mr. Hastert has made mistakes in judgment and committed transgressions for which he is profoundly sorry,” Green said.

…the Chicago Tribune’s investigation into Hastert has revealed several more victims. So the former Speaker of the House wasn’t making any “mistakes” back in Yorkville. He was getting his jollies by sexually abusing the young men who trusted him:

One of the alleged victims served as a team equipment manager a few years after Hastert arrived at the school in 1965. Stephen Reinboldt died of AIDS in 1995, and his younger sister has long spoken out about the details she said he shared with her while alive. Two others, who came to the school later, were talented and popular student-athletes from well-known local families — the sort of combination that often bodes well for the future.

Until Coach Hastert takes an unhealthy (pederast’s) interest in your teenager. Then there’s no point in thinking anything will ever be okay again.

How did rock-ribbed conservatives manage to place a child predator so close to the presidency? How could the Family Values party embrace somebody so evil, and make him so powerful? I don’t know. Maybe you’d like to ask that question of George W. Bush? Or Dick Cheney? Or Karl Rove or Donald Rumsfeld or Condoleezza Rice or [warmonger]….