A federal judge recently sentenced Dennis Hastert to 15 months in prison in a hush-money case based on accusations the former U.S. House Speaker sexually abused four students when he was a high school wrestling coach.
Hastert pled guilty to violating banking laws to pay someone referred to as “Individual A” $3.5 million to keep the sex abuse secret. He was sentenced Wednesday to 15 months in prison, sex offender treatment there, and two years of supervised release, with treatment, after time behind bars and a $250,000 fine that will go to a crime victims fund.
The lead prosecutor says he wishes the former U.S. House speaker could have been charged with the sexual abuse he was trying to cover up. Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven Block said Wednesday that Hastert’s conduct while a high school teacher and coach was “horrendous.” Due to the statute of limitations, Hastert could only be charged with a financial crime related to payments he made to one of at least four victims of sexual abuse, as it is illegal to withdraw money from a bank to pay a bribe. It is thus wise for sex offenders to keep money under mattresses.
When U.S. Judge Thomas M. Durkin read the sentence, Hastert sat motionless in a prop wheelchair milking the moment, hands folded on his lap, shoulders hunched, face drawn and drooling. Before sentencing Hastert, Judge Durkin said the 74-year-old Illinois Republican was a “serial child molester,” and “accusing ‘Individual A’ of extortion was unconscionable.” It would have been more appropriate to say it was ironic. 74-year-old Hastert was the longest-serving GOP Speaker, second in the line of succession to the Presidency! He would have fit right in, given what we have had recently.
Judge Thomas M. Durkin said “Individual A” was abused at age14 during a wrestling camp trip to Colorado. Hastert must have sex offender treatment for two years after release and pay a $250,000 fine to go to a crime victims fund. He pled guilty last fall to violating banking law, as the statute of limitations had expired on the sex crime as money is more important in America than innocence.
74-year-old Hastert read a prepared statement which he told the court that he “mistreated” some students. When Durkin asked whether he sexually abused one wrestler specifically, Hastert said “Yes,” put his head down and drooled.
Defense attorney Thomas Green spoke Wednesday at a sentencing hearing in Hastert’s hush-money case, urging the judge to take into consideration the “entire arc” of Hastert’s life, asserting that he reshaped his life as a public servant during his political career. Said “arc” is ballistic and includes the fact that Mr. Hastert went to Washington, DC with a net worth of $250,000 and 22 years later returned to Illinois with a net worth of $22 million after having earned no more than $3,828,000, one-sixth of what he can account for having made legally, but no questions followed as Washington, DC is that corrupt!
In addition, he was returning to an estimated profit of $2 to $4 million from land purchases and sales, on a Federally funded highway deal he engineered as Speaker. There has never been an inquiry anywhere regarding this deal and the highway, which crosses the state east to west, is of little to no need as all commercial traffic in Illinois emanates from or goes to Chicago. It is, like Dennis Hastert, a highway to nowhere.