Hastert Sentenced To 15 Months In Prison
A federal judge has sentenced Dennis Hastert to 15 months in prison in a hush-money case that centered on accusations that the former U.S. House speaker sexually abused at least four students when he was a high school wrestling coach in Yorkville, Illinois.
Judge Thomas M. Durkin announced the sentence Wednesday. Hastert also must undergo sex offender treatment, two years of supervised release after his time behind bars and a $250,000 fine to go to a crime victims fund.
Hastert pleaded guilty last fall to violating banking law as he sought to pay someone referred to as Individual A $3.5 million to keep sex abuse secret.
Before he sentenced Hastert, Durkin described the 74-year-old Illinois Republican as a "serial child molester,'' and that "accusing Individual A of extorting you was unconscionable.''
He was the nation's longest-serving GOP speaker and was second in the line of succession to the presidency.
Hastert read a prepared statement which he told the court that he "mistreated'' some of his athletes. When Durkin asked whether he sexually abused one wrestler specifically, Hastert said yes.
Durkin said there's "nothing ambiguous about this. ... This is sexual abuse.'' When Durkin read the sentence, Hastert sat unmoving in his wheelchair, hands folded on his lap, shoulders hunched and his face drawn.