Former U.S. House Speaker paid millions to conceal sexual misconduct: Prosecutors

uni1460195368{BNN} – CHICAGO, U.S. – Former U.S. House Speaker, Dennis Hastert who had been convicted in 2015 for paying millions of dollars in a hush-money case allegedly to conceal sexual misconduct now faces sentencing.

Federal prosecutors have for the first time now revealed that Hastert had paid the money to buy the silence of a man he had sexually abused when the victim was 14 years old, decades ago.

Federal prosecutors have accused Hastert of molesting at least four boys while he was a teacher and a wrestling coach at a high school in Yorkville, Illinois.

The court filing reportedly said that Hastert, aged 74 paid 3.5 million dollars “to compensate Individual A for sexual abuse of Individual A committed by defendant when Individual A was 14 years old and defendant was his wrestling coach.”

According to prosecutors, Hastert told Individual A that he would stay in Hastert’s room during a wrestling trip and massaged the victim’s groin area and performed a sexual act on him. Hastert had massaged several other boys on different occasions and had performed a sexual act on another boy.

The prosecutors, in the filing, said that even though the statute of limitation to press criminal charges against Hastert for sexual abuse had long expired, “with this case the government seeks to hold defendant accountable for the crimes he committed that can still be prosecuted.”

Sentencing will be held later in April and Hastert can face maximum of five years in prison for his guilty plea to federal charge of “structuring” – evading bank reporting rules by withdrawing large amounts of cash in small increments.

Hastert’s lawyers have asked the federal judge to not send him to prison on account of his poor health and that he is “deeply sorry.”

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About Cholo Brooks 17198 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.