Articles on this Page
- 04/08/16--10:28: _2 Dead in Apparent ...
- 04/08/16--16:03: _Up to 4,000 State E...
- 04/08/16--11:11: _Paddleboarder's Sha...
- 04/08/16--14:56: _Former Parent-Teach...
- 04/08/16--10:36: _2 Turkeys Crash Int...
- 04/08/16--13:59: _Masked Man With Gun...
- 04/08/16--14:02: _15-Year-Old Shot in...
- 04/08/16--14:20: _Sanders and Clinton...
- 04/08/16--18:27: _Ex-Hospital Worker ...
- 04/08/16--20:33: _Jersey Shore Blaze
- 04/08/16--16:20: _Hamden Police To St...
- 04/08/16--18:01: _Kasich Visits Fairf...
- 04/08/16--21:44: _Cops Make Arrest in...
- 04/08/16--21:45: _Accused Killer Who ...
- 04/08/16--19:49: _West Hartford Teens...
- 04/08/16--20:28: _Mexican Police Arre...
- 04/08/16--11:09: _Department of Corre...
- 04/08/16--18:27: _Parents Arrested Af...
- 04/09/16--08:18: _Hastert Abused 4 Bo...
- 04/09/16--06:20: _Man Found Dead in W...
- 04/08/16--10:28: 2 Dead in Apparent Murder-Suicide at Texas Air Force Base
- 04/08/16--16:03: Up to 4,000 State Employees Could Face Layoffs: Malloy
- 04/08/16--11:11: Paddleboarder's Shark Encounter
- 04/08/16--14:56: Former Parent-Teacher Treasurer Accused of Stealing $11K
- 04/08/16--10:36: 2 Turkeys Crash Into Windshields on I-91 and I-84
- 04/08/16--13:59: Masked Man With Gun Entered Kent Home: Investigation
- 04/08/16--14:02: 15-Year-Old Shot in Springfield, Mass. Dies
- 04/08/16--14:20: Sanders and Clinton Debate Over Qualifications May Be Over
- 04/08/16--18:27: Ex-Hospital Worker Accused of Sex Assault, Secret Photos
- 04/08/16--20:33: Jersey Shore Blaze
- 04/08/16--16:20: Hamden Police To Step Up Presence on QU Campus
- 04/08/16--18:01: Kasich Visits Fairfield Touting Electability
- 04/08/16--21:44: Cops Make Arrest in Grisly Killing
- 04/08/16--21:45: Accused Killer Who Escaped Psychiatric Hospital Captured
- 04/08/16--19:49: West Hartford Teens to Play Historical Baseball Game in Cuba
- 04/08/16--20:28: Mexican Police Arrest Tx. Woman
- 04/08/16--11:09: Department of Correction to Lay Off 147 Employees
- 04/08/16--18:27: Parents Arrested After Heroin Found in Child's Toy
- 04/09/16--08:18: Hastert Abused 4 Boys: Prosecutors
- 04/09/16--06:20: Man Found Dead in Willimantic Apartment Building
Two people are dead in a shooting at the Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, authorities said.
Bexar County Sheriff's Office spokesman James Keith told MSNBC the Friday morning attack appears to be a murder-suicide.
The bodies of two males were found inside an office at the Forbes Hall building, Brig. Gen. Robert D. LaBrutta said at a press conference Friday. Officials also found two Glock firearms at the scene, he added.
Officials declined to identify the victims, saying the families must be notified first.
A senior U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told The Associated Press an airman shot his commander. NBC News has not independently confirmed this information.
Photo Credit: Bexar County Sheriff
Photo from Bexar County Sheriff of scene at Lackland AFB
Governor Dan Malloy said Friday that according to his staff’s reading of the most recet budget approved by the Appropriations Committee this week, the number of state employee layoffs may be higher than initially expected.
“I think it’s well in excess of a thousand. It could easily be approaching 2,000. Based on the most recent budget document it go to as much as 4,000, quite frankly. That’s our read of it” Gov. Malloy said in Rocky Hill.
The budget presented by the governor before his State of the State Address two months ago included savings from more than 3,000 layoffs. The budget trimmed spending by more than a half a billion dollars in order to avoid a deficit.
Now the deficit is estimated at more than $900 million and he says further cuts are needed, and that if the budget goes into effect as passed by the committee this week, then roughly 9% of the state’s 45,000 person workforce could be in jeopardy of losing their jobs.
Gov. Dannel Malloy said, “Our analysis of that document would indicate that the cuts that they’ve made to salary accounts are substantially greater than the ones we have recommended.”
The budget provided by the budget writing committee this week only cut $575 million from current spending, as one of the chairs said it would be “irresponsible” to cut more than that without having more firm revenue projections for the month of April when tax receipts will be reported.
The first round of cuts was made public Friday morning. 147 Department of Correction employees will lose their jobs. Commissioner Scott Semple told employees in a letter that his spending reduction plan had been approved and that the layoffs were a key part.
Governor Malloy will release a new budget next week that he says will be balanced for the 2017 fiscal year.
A standup paddleboarder in Florida came face to face with a shark Thursday in the waters off Jupiter in Palm Beach County.
Maximo Trinidad shot video of the close encounter while boarding on his lunch break near Corners Beach, according to NBC affiliate WPTV in West Palm Beach.
The footage shows Trindad along when suddenly, his board clips a large shark to his left, sending Trinidad straight into the water.
"As soon as I saw that big beautiful animal jumping next to me, everything went into slow motion. I didn't want to be on top of it and think I was a fish," he told WPTV. "Everything was so surreal. It was so cool."
Trinidad is seen on video climbing back on top of his board and letting out an expletive in reaction to the incredible encounter.
He told WPTV this wasn't his first experience with a shark.
On another occasion, a shark jumped so high next to him it nearly reached eye level, Trinidad said.
Photo Credit: Maximo Trinidad
Maximo Trinidad has a close encounter with a shark in Palm Beach County.
A former parent-teacher organization treasurer is being accused of larceny for misusing more than $11,000 of the organization's funds , East Haven Police said.
An investigation conducted by the East Haven Police led authorities to believe Jodi Trudden misused funds during her time as treasurer for the Ferrara Elementary School Parent-Teacher Organization.
Police said Trudden, who held the position for two years, used more than $11,000 on unauthorized purchases for Amazon, supermarkets, Bath & Body Works, BJ's Wholesale, E-Bay, Yankee Candle, Videostripe.com, Wafios Machinery, Wal-Mart and Zulily, along with many others.
Trudden was releasted on a $5,000 bond and is expected to appear in court on April 13.
Photo Credit: East Haven Police
Two turkeys have crashed into windshields on different Connecticut highways on Friday.
The most recent incident happened on Interstate 91 north, in the area of exit 47W in Enfield.
Neither driver was hurt.
On Thursday, state police responded to a turkey strutting on Interstate 95 in Darien, which slowed down traffic on the southbound side of the highway.
This is turkey breeding season, which typically starts in late March and early April, with toms gobbling and displaying for the hens.
An adult male eastern wild turkey can grow to 48-inches and can weigh between 15 and 25 pounds, while a female turkey can reach 36 inches and 8 and 12 pounds, according to the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.
They can fly several miles each day.
Police are currently investigating a masked man who entered a Kent home on Friday morning.
Before 8:30 a.m., a man wearing a mask and brandishing a hand gun entered the unlock door of a home on Kent Road, state police said.
The resident told police that the man entered her bedroom and when he saw she was awake, left the house in an unknown vehicle.
Troopers responded to the scene and said an investigation in on-going.
There were no other immediate details or description on the suspect.
Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
A 15-year-old girl who was shot on Thursday night in Springfield, Massachusetts, has died.
Springfield Police said the victim's friend, a 17-year-old male, shot her in the stomach around 8 p.m. at 212 Plainfield St. and then fled the scene before they arrived.
Police said the boy was "playing around" with the gun and it discharged. There were reportedly other children in the apartment when the gun went off, in addition to an adult who was on a different floor.
The girl was taken to Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, where she died late Friday morning. Police have not released her name.
Police said the 17-year-old male who fired the gun was arrested late Friday morning. He was arraigned in juvenile court on Friday afternoon on weapons charges and remains in police custody.
Prosecutors said they are still reviewing the case and additional charges could be filed in the near future.
Photo Credit: WWLP
The debate over whether Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders think the other is qualified for the presidency may be over, NBC News reports.
On Wednesday, Sanders responded sharply to a Washington Post story based on an interview Clinton did with MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” in which she said the Vermont senator had not done his “homework” on some of his plans. Sanders told supporters at a Philadelphia rally that Clinton was not qualified to be president.
The two candidates spent the next two days fielding questions over the other’s qualifications. While Hillary Clinton avoided answering the question, Sanders stuck to his guns, saying he believed it was her campaign’s strategy to "disqualify him."
Sanders finally walked back his comments on Friday, during an appearance on NBC’s “Today” show, when he said “of course” she’s qualified.
"On her worst day, she would be an infinitely better president than either of the Republican candidates," he said.
Photo Credit: Getty Images, File
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).
A Bridgeport Hospital employee has been charged with sexually assaulting four men and secretly taking thousands of photographs at the hospital's nursing school, according to police.
Barry Barkinsky, 62, was teaching at the hospital's nursing school as the emergency manager and EMS coordinator before the investigation began. Barkinsky, of Stamford, faces four counts of fourth-degree sexual assault and 10 counts of voyeurism.
A 22-year-old Bridgeport man who was enrolled in the emergency medical technician course that Barkinsky instructed told police last December he had been sexually assaulted, authorities said.
The victim said in 2013, Barkinsky offered to help the man with his back troubles by giving him weekly chiropractic treatments at the nursing school. Barkinsky would examine and touch the man's genitals as the victim lied on a table, police said.
At first, the victim thought the procedure was "unorthodox" but didn't question Barkinsky, according to police.
As the treatments continued, the victim would hear camera shutter noises and eventually caught Barkinsky snapping photos of him while he lie naked, authorities said. The victim was able to take pictures of Barkinsky taking photographs during the unauthorized back procedures, according to police.
Barkinsky would secretly photograph naked men lying down, police said. Barkinsky had allegedly convinced the men to allow him to perform unauthorized procedures on them.
When Bridgeport police confronted Barkinsky, he turned over 2,181 photographs he had secretly taken of at least a dozen naked men, according to police.
According to police, Barkinsky also admitted the men had been given enema procedures — some which were not consensual.
Police found various paddles used for sexual fetishes and several medical supplies, like enema equipment, mounted in Barkinsky's apartment.
The hospital said Barkinsky did not interact with patients.
"The employee, who did not work in any patient care areas, is no longer with the hospital. The Hospital had no knowledge of any of the activities alleged in the arrest warrant and, such alleged activity, if proven to be true, is an absolutely inexcusable violation of trust and inconsistent with the values of our organization," Bridgeport Hospital said in a statement.
It is not clear if Barkinsky has an attorney.
Six firefighters have been injured in a massive fire that consumed three commercial buildings on the Jersey Shore Friday evening, causing one of them to collapse, authorities say.
The blaze broke out at a building on West Front Street in downtown Keyport about 3:30 p.m., and quickly spread to two nearby buildings, according to authorities.
"It came on so quick, it took the whole building," said witness Bob Deronde.
Dozens of fire trucks and ladder units from several municipalities battled flames shooting through the roof and ripping through the structure. Thick smoke billowed from the building, blanketing nearby streets, video shows.
"It was pretty intense. The flames were pretty high," said Joe Vecchio.
"The gray smoke just started billowing out of the front," said witness David Austin.
Videos provided to NBC 4 New York by witnesses show part of the fire-gutted building collapse. Radio transmissions between emergency responders reveal concern over firefighters possibly injured in the blaze.
"Urgent, we have guys down, urgent, Mayday," one firefighter is heard saying.
"Mayday! Mayday! Mayday!" the recording continues.
Two of the firefighters who were inside the building when it collapsed were hurt, and and four other firefighters were injured battling the blaze, which destroyed five businesses and several apartments, the Monmouth County prosecutor's office said. None of the injuries was life-threatening; most were from smoke inhalation.
It's not clear what sparked the fire. It was under control by the evening, but hot spots were continuing to pop up.
There was a brief gas leak, but it was quickly capped, authorities said.
Deronde said he was inside the building when the fire started. He said a roofer ran into his office looking for a fire extinguisher.
Now "the whole corner is totaled, our office is definitely totaled. The apartments up top, the building next door collapsed also," he said.
The building is expected to be demolished Friday night because of structural concerns.
Despite the destruction, residents were grateful the fire was contained before it destroyed all of downtown Keyport.
"I know a couple of firemen were injured, I hope they're OK. But they did an unbelievable job keeping that from spreading downtown," said Vecchio.
"If it wasn't for them, we'd be talking about 23 apartments burning down, and instead we're only talking about one or two. Thank God for them," said Austin.
About 50 miles down the shore, another fire at a junkyard and recycling plant in Berkeley Township, Ocean County, forced officials to shut down exit 77 of the Garden State Parkway.
Photo Credit: Larry Vecchio
Like Quinnipiac University alumni, students and fans, Hamden Police Chief Thomas Wydra is pulling for the men’s hockey team to bring home its first national championship.
“We’re all excited here in Hamden and very proud of them,” Wydra said.
Win or lose, the chief said he is hoping for a safe and orderly reaction from students on Saturday night.
Six to 12 patrol cars and at least a dozen Hamden Police officers will be on campus, in addition to an increased QU Department of Public Safety presence, Wydra said.
After the Bobcats beat Boston College 3-2 in the Frozen Four national semifinals Thursday night, cell phone video captured students tearing down a tree on QU’s campus.
“We can’t believe that you would trash your school if your team won,” QU Junior Tori Heckert said.
Hamden Police arrested two 18-year-old students. Both Maxime Giesen and Robert Amonica are charged with 1st degree Criminal Mischief.
“There were several hundred students who congregated on the main campus, so the fact we only had two that acted in such a way that required us to make an arrest,” Wydra said, “I think actually is a positive out of the whole event last night.”
A statement from QU spokesperson John Morgan said “the majority of our students were well behaved and none were injured during Thursday night’s celebration.”
The two arrested students are suspended until their student conduct meetings, Morgan added.
“The university's Public Safety Department will continue to work closely with the Hamden Police Department during Saturday's NCAA Frozen Four championship game to maintain the safety and security of all members of the university community,” Morgan said.
QU Junior Hayleigh Kurts said she is hoping for a Bobcats victory, followed by a peaceful celebration.
“It should just be all in good fun and no more arrests or injuries,” she said.
“You can’t damage the property on your own campus if you’re a college student obviously,” Wydra said, “you can’t get physically or verbally abusive with anybody in these crowds.”
The championship game between the QU Bobcats and North Dakota begins just after 8 p.m.
In front of several hundred on the campus of Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Ohio Gov. John Kasich told the crowd that not only policy positions, but that his touch with voters is what makes him the one most likely to win the White House for the GOP in November.
“Great leaders don’t drive people into depression and they don’t divide people,” Kasich said. “Great leaders bring people together and respect the differences that exist in one another.”
The visit to Sacred Heart comes as Kasich finds himself in a distant third in delegates. The stretch of states however, may in fact favor him over the next two weeks.
In a state like Connecticut , known for moderate Republicans, Kasich predicts he will win some of the 28 delegates at stake.
“I think we’re going to get delegates here for sure but I think it’s a matter of how many,” he said.
One comment that stood out during his hour of questions and answers was a nod to arguably the biggest political and economic story in Connecticut.
General Electric announced in January that it will leave its Fairfield headquarters for Boston after months of back and forth with Gov. Dannel Malloy’s administration.
GE didn’t specifically mention the state’s tax climate but both Wall Street and political observers said Connecticut has become a less tan tax friendly state in recent years.
Kasich said during Friday’s event, “I happen to believe in lower income taxes, oh my aren’t we in Connecticut? Isn’t that interesting and I think the income tax is through the roof and if I read about another company that’s threatening to leave Connecticut, the proof is in the pudding.”
Photo Credit: AP
A 33-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of murder in connection to the grisly killing of a young woman whose body was found stuffed in a suitcase.
Joshua M. Palmer was interviewed by San Diego police homicide detectives and later arrested while he was at McGregor's Grill & Ale House in Mission Valley. He was booked Friday afternoon on one count of murder in the San Diego County Jail.
The woman has been identified as 21-year-old Shauna Haynes of San Diego, police said Friday.
The case surfaced Wednesday morning when a passerby spotted the suitcase in downtown San Diego, near the 1300 block of 7th Avenue and A Street.
Police said the man who lives in the area saw the suitcase on the ground and walked over to check it out.
He knew something was terribly wrong when he spotted human hair peeking out of the zipper of the luggage.
Police have not released details on the manner of Haynes' death, nor her connection to the suspect.
Palmer will be arraigned in court on Tuesday.
Police are continuing to investigate and ask that anyone with information call the SDPD’S Homicide Unit at (619) 531-2293 or Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.
This is a breaking news story. Check back for updates.
Photo Credit: Facebook
Joshua Palmer has been arrested on suspicion of murder in the killing of a woman whose body was found in a suitcase.
An accused killer who escaped from a Washington state psychiatric hospital earlier this week was arrested Friday, according to a tweet from officials, NBC News reports.
Anthony Garver, 28, was one of two patients who escaped from the Western State Hospital in Lakewood, Washington on Wednesday night. The other escapee, Mark Alexander Adams, was taken into custody on Thursday.
"Both escaped inmates from Western State Hospital are in custody," Todd Bartolac, a state police spokesman announced on Twitter just before 9 p.m. local time on Friday.
Police had referred to Garver as "scary and dangerous." He was committed to the psychiatric hospital two years ago when he was deemed not competent to stand trial after being accused of fatally stabbing a woman two dozen times.
Photo Credit: AP
This undated photo provided by the Lakewood Police Department shows Anthony Garver. Mark Alexander Adams and Garver, described as dangerous, escaped from Western State Hospital, a psychiatric facility, in Pierce County, south of Tacoma, Wednesday, April 6, 2016.
It's the trip of a lifetime and one that could help lay the groundwork for future U.S.-Cuba relations and it’s all on the shoulders of 14-year-old West Hartford baseball players.
From April 9 to 16, 18 West Hartford students will represent the United States in Cuba. The young baseball players will play four games there and forge new relationships.
"We feel very lucky," said Jack Brennan, one of the baseball players going.
Jack and his teammates will be using the game they love to open doors, and they've been preparing for this trip for months.
"We've been working in the cages and we've also been practicing Spanish," said Jack.
"Our goal here is to give these kids a lifetime opportunity and I think they'll have that. I think it'll be a lesson they'll never forget," said Tim Brennan.
Brennan is an assistant coach and spearheaded the U.S.-Cuba Goodwill Tour. It took a year to plan, and they're not planning to arrive to the island empty-handed. Nearly 1,000 pounds of donated baseball gear, school supplies, musical instruments and first aid and dental kits will travel down with them.
"The donations, we consider them gifts to the Cubans for having us there," said Brennan.
The night before they left, Senator Chris Murphy stopped by to wish everyone well during the week-long trip. He stressed the importance of baseball diplomacy.
"It's the only country this close to the United States that we have no relationship with," said Murphy. "This is one of the ways we open up relationships between the United States and Cuba."
Organizers also hope to bring a Cuban team to West Hartford this summer. In order to make that a reality, they still have a lot of money left to raise. Brennan says they've raised about $10,000 and need to raise another $50,000.
If you'd like to donate, you can head here.
Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut
Brenda Delgado, the woman added this week to the FBI's list of "Ten Most Wanted Fugitives" for her role in the murder of a Dallas dentist, has been arrested in Mexico, authorities say.
Delgado, 33, was captured Friday in the city of Torreon, in north-central Mexico, according to the office of the Mexico attorney general.
The FBI confirmed the arrest late Friday, saying Delgado was arrested without incident by agents of Mexico's Criminal Investigations Agency.
Delgado will be transferred to Mexico City, where she will be detained pending proceedings for extradition to North Texas.
She was indicted for capital murder last fall in the death of Dr. Kendra Hatcher, a 35-year-old dentist found dead in the parking garage of her apartment complex on Sept. 2.
A reward of up to $100,000 was being offered for any information leading directly to Delgado's arrest.
Investigators believe Delgado, who allegedly dated Hatcher's boyfriend, planned Hatcher's murder and hired people to carry it out. Crystal Cortes and Kristopher Love are in prison for their involvement in Hatcher's murder.
"It is believed she was jealous because the victim was dating Delgado's ex-boyfriend and had recently been introduced to his parents," the FBI wrote on its wanted poster for Delgado.
"The FBI is extremely appreciative of our law enforcement partners in Mexico, as well as our local, state and federal partners, for their tremendous cooperation and collaboration in the capture of Top Ten Fugitive Brenda Delgado," said Thomas M. Class Sr., Special Agent in Charge of the FBI's Dallas Field Office, in a statement Friday.
Delgado, born Brenda Berenice Delgado Reynaga, is the second North Texan on the FBI's "Most Wanted" list. Yaser Abdel Said of Irving has been on the run since 2008, after being accused of murdering his two teenage daughters. He was added to the list in 2014.
Refresh this article for updates on this developing story.
Photo Credit: NBC 5 News
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.
Brenda Delgado, inset right, along with her FBI Most Wanted poster, left.
The commissioner of the state Department of Correction has notified employees that 147 people will be laid off because of a state budget shortfall.
State officials warned last week that layoff notices would be going out soon, potentially to thousands of state employees, because of an estimated state budget shortfall of between $550 million and $900 million.
Department of Correction Commissioner Scott Semple made the announcement about layoffs in his department to staff members on Thursday.
“After working diligently to come up with cost saving measures, we were able to impact the number of layoffs significantly, but in the end they were not altogether avoidable. Today, it is my duty to inform you that our agency’s savings plan has been approved. I regret to inform you that 147 Department of Correction employees are to be laid off,” Semple wrote in the memo to employees.
Gov. Dannel Malloy told reporters last week that the number of state employee layoffs coming would be "substantial" and Sen. Martin Looney, (D - New Haven), the President Pro Tem of the Senate, said on broad terms, they expect to save "hundreds of millions" as a result of layoffs.
Semple said it was an extremely difficult decision to identify the positions that will be cut and the department is committed to maintaining core services “with an emphasis on safety and security.”
“I have instructed every Director and Warden to meet directly, when the time comes, with those who are adversely affected by the circumstances we face. Despite the difficulty of the situation, I am committed that the process be handled in a compassionate and dignified manner,” Semple wrote.
Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
Parents are being accused of putting their children at risk after they allegedly exposed them to sexual behavior and heroin was found in their daughter's toys, police said.
Witnesses said John Cerullo, 44, of Waterbury, and his wife, Stella Cerullo, 43, exposed their two young children to sexual paraphernalia laying around the house and drugs.
In January, witnesses, who have babysat the Cerullo's children for the last three years, called the Waterbury police to report inappropriate behavior happening at the couple's home.
Witnesses said that the daughter indicated she was injured "inside" and may have been sexually abused by someone in the house, the affadavit.
The witness was concerned about the girl's detailed description of her "boo boo". She also said she was given M&Ms after she was hurt, according to an arrest warrant.
The witnesses told police that in the past Cerullo's son had threatened an 8-year-old neighbor with a knife, the warrant said.
The boy told his babysitters that his parents kept sex paraphernalia around the house and he would look them up online to see what they were. He also told the witness that he had seen sexual content on a cellphone video, police said.
When the witnesses did approach the Cerullos about their son's behavior and the alleged sexual abuse to their daughter, they told the witness they would "handle the situation," according to the arrest affidavit.
Last year sometime between Christmas and New Year's, when one of the witnesses went to Cerullo's home to start babysitting, she tripped over a toy grocery cart and a black eyeglass case came out. The witness looked inside and found a brown powder-like substance, police said.
Waterbury Police were able to determine that it was heroin inside the glasses case.
The witnesses also told police that she had seen John Cerullo rolling marijuana joints in front of his son over the last three years.
On Jan. 22, the children were removed from the home by the Department of Children and Families.
Both Stella and John Cerullo are accused of two counts of risk of injury to a minor and possession of narcotics. Their bail was set at $25,000 each.
Photo Credit: Waterbury Police
Federal prosecutors confirmed for the first time Friday, allegations that former House Speaker Dennis Hastert paid hush money to cover up the sexual abuse of a 14-year-old student decades ago. And they alleged numerous other sexual encounters, involving young men who had once wrestled on teams Hastert coached in the seventies.
“These known acts consist of the defendant’s intentional touching of minors’ groin area and genitals or oral sex with a minor,” they wrote in a sentencing memorandum filed Friday evening. “The actions at the core of this case took place not on the defendant’s national stage, but in his private one-on-one encounters in an empty locker room and a motel room with minors, that violated the special trust between those young boys and their coach.”
Prosecutors said Hastert had aroused the suspicion of his banks with large cash withdrawals in early 2012. When confronted by bank officials, Hastert gave conflicting reasons, including a contention that he collected vintage cars and needed the cash for purchases. But after bank officials informed Hastert that they were going to close his accounts due to the unusual withdrawals, the matter eventually came to the attention of the FBI.
“Law enforcement was concerned that defendant’s large and unusual cash withdrawals could be indicative of other criminal activity of which (Hastert) was either a perpetrator or the victim,” they wrote. “By December 2014…defendant had withdrawn a total of $1.7 million in cash in approximately four and a half years.”
When they approached him that month, FBI agents said Hastert told them he was withdrawing the money because he “did not think the banks were safe.” But shortly after that, defense lawyers contacted the government and said the former Speaker had been the victim of an extortion plot, involving a false claim made by a former student identified as Individual A.
Hastert agreed to record conversations with Individual A. But during the course of those conversations, the FBI said the stories did not seem to add up, and that Individual A did not speak as a person who was extorting the former Speaker at all.
In March of 2015, agents confronted Individual A directly, and he quickly described an incident where he said it was he who had been a victim.
The incident in question occurred on a school wrestling trip, where Hastert, then the Yorkville coach, allegedly insisted that the boy stay in his hotel room.
“Defendant told Individual A to lie down on the bed and take off his underwear,” prosecutors wrote. “Defendant than began massaging Individual A’s groin area. It became clear to Individual A that defendant was not touching him in a therapeutic manner to address a wrestling injury, but was touching him in a sexually inappropriate way.”
The boy, now a young man, told agents that he slept in the same bed with Hastert that night, but that he refused to stay in his room the following evening.
He admitted, agents said, that when he approached Hastert in 2010, he demanded $3.5 million “for what defendant had done to him.” The first payment was made at Hastert’s Yorkville office, he said, with other $50,000 payments occurring every few months in the parking lot of a Yorkville store. Later, they changed that arrangement to payments of $100,000 every three months.
The government filing speaks of other young men who were allegedly abused by Hastert. One, identified as Individual B, said Hastert performed a sex act on him in a locker room at Yorkville High School when he was just 14 years old. Another, identified as Individual D, said Hastert put a “Lazyboy”-type chair in direct view of the shower stalls where he sat while the boys showered. The boy said Hastert performed a sex act on him, when he was 17.
Another, identified as Individual C, says Hastert brushed his genitals during a massage.
The document also quotes a woman named Jolene Burdge, who says her late brother, Stephen Reinboldt, told her that Hastert had sexually abused him throughout his high school years from 1967 to 1971.
“Burdge asked her brother why he never told anyone about the abuse during high school,” prosecutors wrote. “Reinboldt said that he had no one to turn to, and did not think anyone would believe him.”
The government noted that Hastert made a decision to run for public office in October of 1979, and that his sexual abuse of boys on his team was still occurring at the time he made the decision to enter public life.
“Defendant spent years violating banking laws of which he was fully aware in order to keep secret his sexual abuse of wrestling team members,” the filing states. “Defendant’s history and characteristics are marred by stunning hypocrisy.”
Prosecutors agreed with the defense, that the guideline range for Hastert’s financial offenses called for a sentence of between zero and six months. But they urged the judge to take into account the gravity of his crimes, and to send a message that a wealthy and powerful person who held high office is subject to the same penalties as an ordinary citizen.
“He made (the victims) feel alone, ashamed, guilty, and devoid of dignity,” they wrote. “It is profoundly sad that one of their earliest sexual experiences was in the form of abuse by a man whom they trusted, and whom they revered as a mentor and coach.”
Photo Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Police said they are investigating the untimely death of a dead man they found in a Willimantic apartment building.
On Friday, police were dispatching to an apartment building on Spring Street.
They found the man and transported him to Windham Hospital where he was pronounced dead just before 11 p.m.
The body will be sent to the Medical Examiner's office in Farmington for an autopsy on Sunday.
Police said they are not investigating any foul play.
Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com