April 21, 2024
Crime & Courts | Northwest Herald

Crime & Courts

New Dennis Hastert accuser sues former speaker, Yorkville School District 115

Lawsuit describes attack on boy in bathroom in 1970s, intimidation from authorities

YORKVILLE – Another former Yorkville student has filed a lawsuit against former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert, as well as Yorkville School District 115, detailing allegations of a rape that occurred in the 1970s.

The alleged victim, named Richard Doe in the lawsuit that was filed Friday in Kendall County Circuit Court, states in his lawsuit that Hastert sodomized him in a bathroom when the victim was in fourth grade, and that the county state's attorney at the time threatened him with criminal charges upon hearing the story years later.

A court hearing is set for 9 a.m. Tuesday at the Kendall County Courthouse in Yorkville on a request by the alleged victim’s attorneys to use a pseudonym instead of Doe’s real name.

Doe and his attorneys named Hastert as a defendant in the civil lawsuit and the school district as a "respondent in discovery," which means the district is not a defendant in the lawsuit but could be if enough information is obtained to make it a defendant.

The lawsuit accuses Hastert of battery, false imprisonment, negligent infliction of emotional distress and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

When asked about the lawsuit, District 115 spokeswoman Kristine Liptrot said she was “unaware of the new allegations that have been brought forward” and that she “cannot comment on pending litigation.”

“However, if law enforcement needs our assistance, we are always available to help in an investigation,” Liptrot said.

The lawsuit was filed by attorney Kristi Browne of the Patterson Law Firm of Chicago, which also is representing a person known as Individual A, a former Yorkville student who initially accused Hastert of abuse and whose hush-money agreement with Hastert led to the federal indictment and conviction of the former speaker for banking violations.

Hastert was convicted and sentenced for those violations in April 2016, and he is slated to be released Aug. 16 from the Federal Medical Center in Rochester, Minnesota.

Attack and intimidation alleged

The lawsuit states that when Doe was 9 or 10 years old and in fourth grade, in the spring or summer of 1973 or 1974, he was riding his bike along Game Farm Road in Yorkville and stopped in what was then the state Game Farm Building (now the location of Yorkville City Hall) to use the bathroom.

Doe claims he was sitting on a toilet in a stall in a bathroom when he heard “a male voice mutter something outside the stall door.”

“Suddenly, the stall door opened and a large man (now known to be Hastert) entered the stall,” the lawsuit states. “[Doe] believes the man’s genitals were exposed at that time. Hastert grabbed (Doe) by the neck, bent him over the toilet, and proceeded to forcefully sodomize [Doe].”

After the alleged assault took place, Hastert left the bathroom, the lawsuit states. The lawsuit says Doe “saw Hastert’s face at that time but did not recognize him.”

The lawsuit states that several weeks after the alleged attack, Doe was in gym class at Yorkville Grade School, which is located next door to the old Yorkville High School, where Hastert was a teacher and coach at the time. Doe claims Hastert walked into the gym class and talked to his teacher. Doe said upon recognizing Hastert, he began “shaking and crying.” Hastert then approached Doe, the lawsuit states.

“Hastert took [Doe] by the neck and led him into the hallway,” the lawsuit states. “In the hallway, Hastert dropped to his knees and asked [Doe] if he told anyone about the assault. [Doe], still crying, said no. Hastert warned [Doe] against reporting the attack, threatening that Hastert’s father was the sheriff and, if [Doe] told, his parents would be put in jail.”

Hastert's father, Jack Hastert, was never the sheriff of Kendall County. He worked in funeral homes and ran a feed store and restaurant.

The lawsuit states that because of Doe “being a student in the district in which Hastert taught and coached, Hastert owed [Doe] a special duty to ensure [Doe’s] well-being and to protect [Doe] from physical, mental, and emotional harm,” the lawsuit says. “Hastert violated this duty by sexually assaulting [Doe] and both threatening [Doe] to prevent him from reporting the crime and failing to inform [Doe] that he had a cause of action against Hastert.”

The lawsuit says that Doe’s “severe mental and emotional distress” was “only exacerbated by [Doe’s] fear of reprisal by Hastert and his family if he attempted to talk to someone about the attack.”

Threats alleged after attempted report

Doe said in the lawsuit that it was not until 1984 or 1985, when he was 20 or 21, that he “began to comprehend the scope of the malevolent acts perpetrated by Hastert on him as a child.”

At that time, the lawsuit said, Doe visited the Kendall County State’s Attorney’s Office to report the crime and spoke to then-State’s Attorney Dallas Ingemunson.

Doe said in the lawsuit that he did not know that Ingemunson played a prominent role in Hastert’s political career and had been involved with Hastert as his personal attorney and a partner in various business ventures, the lawsuit states.

“Upon hearing [Doe’s] report, Ingemunson threatened to charge [Doe] with a crime and accused him of slandering Hastert’s name,” the lawsuit states.

The lawsuit states that Ingemunson’s “threats were intended to prevent [Doe] from discovering the full extent of the crimes committed against him” and that his “threats were made for the benefit and on behalf of Hastert, whose political career was just taking off, and who could not afford to be labeled a child molester.”

As a result of that incident, Doe states that he “was traumatized, repressed the sexual assault by Hastert, and was intimidated into silence.”

When reached by cellphone Saturday, Ingemunson said “all these things [Doe] is saying are untrue.”

“I never even met the guy,” Ingemunson said. “He’s never been in my office. I have no idea what he’s talking about. He’s just making it all up.”

Regarding the Hastert accusations, Ingemunson said, “I wish this stuff would all just go away.

“I have no idea how this is going to blow up now, with all this crap. It’s just all untrue nonsense.”