Robert Hanssen, the former FBI agent accused of spying for Moscow, spent at least $10,000 on a car for a local stripper and took her to church in what investigators believe was an effort to minister to her, The Washington Post reported Thursday.
Federal investigators are interviewing the woman and are looking into whether Hanssen also bought her an airplane ticket to Tokyo, the Post said, quoting unidentified law enforcement and intelligence sources.
Investigators are trying to reconstruct what happened to nearly $600,000 in cash and diamonds that Hanssen is alleged to have received for spying for Russia and the Soviet Union over a 15-year period.
The Post said investigators have evidence Hanssen befriended a dancer he met at a strip club in the early 1990s and accompanied her to services more than once at a Roman Catholic church he attended.
The investigators said there was no evidence of a sexual relationship between Hanssen and the woman, who was not identified. Instead, they speculated that Hanssen, who has been described as deeply conservative and religious, was attempting to convert her to the church.
Hanssen's attorney, Plato Cacheris, declined to discuss the issue, the Post reported. He said his client intends to plead innocent to the espionage charges, which could carry the death penalty.
The FBI has accused Hanssen, 56, a 25-year veteran agent and the father of six, with passing along to Soviet and later Russian agents 6,000 pages of documents on secret U.S. programs.
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