Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert is currently embroiled in allegations stemming from his conviction for “illegally structuring cash withdrawals to evade bank currency-reporting requirements” as reported by the Chicago Tribune. The reasons behind the withdrawals had remained hidden, but now prosecutors are alleging that the money was used as hush money stemming from Hastert’s sexual abuse of four boys over forty years ago.
The prosecutors in Hastert’s case claim that the former speaker agreed to pay $3.5 million for the silence of one of his alleged victims, with Hastert admitting $1.7 million going to an unnamed individual for “silence and [to] compensate for past misconduct.” Reuters provides more details on the allegations:
In the filing the prosecutors accuse Hastert, 74, of molesting several boys when he was a high school teacher and coach in his hometown of Yorkville, Illinois in the 1960s and 1970s.
Though the statute of limitations has expired on prosecuting Hastert for sex abuse, “with this case the government seeks to hold defendant accountable for the crimes he committed that can still be prosecuted,” the prosecutors said in the filing.
The former Republican speaker of the House of Representatives has admitted to paying $1.7 million in cash to someone he had known for decades to buy that person’s silence and compensate for past misconduct toward that individual.
Hastert’s defense has not revealed the misconduct on their side, but have asked the court to avoid a prison term due to the former speaker’s health and his apology. Prosecutors are seeking at least six months in prison out of a possible maximum of five years. The court will make its decision on April 27th.