You might as well call it a “molestation” trial because disgraced former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert never actually had one of those. The registered Republican lawmaker went to jail for a few months on bank fraud charges. This trial is the civil case brought by one of his abuse victims. It will never go to court either because it just got settled. The accused serial pedophile from Illinois simply decided to pay the balance of the hush money, as arranged, to only one of at least four victims. That’s the end of it.
Speaker and serial child molester
At his 2016 sentencing on the banking crimes, U.S. District Judge Thomas M. Durkin “repeatedly rebuked Hastert before issuing a 15-month sentence.” That’s nothing considering his alleged crimes. The judge turned purple when he declared, nothing “is more stunning than to have the words ‘serial child molester’ and ‘Speaker of the House’ in the same sentence.”
When Newt Gingrich stepped down after the 1998 midterm, Bob Livingston of Louisiana was to succeed him. There was a snag and he turned out to be a pervert. Livingston “resigned after he admitted to several sexual affairs.” So they nominated another pervert.
Hastert ended up admitting guilt on the banking charge but “couldn’t be charged with sexual abuse because the statute of limitations had long since run out.” The banking charge he admitted was a cover up of the hush money he was doling out to one of his victims. Once the scandal surfaced, the former speaker stopped paying.
Both sides are accusing the other of “breach of contract.” Just as the question was about to be decided very publicly at a civil trial, Hastert caved in and agreed to fork over every penny he promised his victim. That works out to another $1.8 million. The original deal was for $3.5 million.
Long before Hastert became speaker, he molested his accuser while the male victim was “a teenage student and Hastert was his coach.” The judge was really hoping to decide the question, which was “a novel legal issue about whether Hastert’s verbal agreement to pay $3.5 million to buy the silence of a man he abused as a teenager amounted to a legally binding contract.”
The question will remain unsettled because Hastert is honoring the contract without actually admitting there was one.
At least four
In the federal case, prosecutors presented evidence that the former Speaker “sexually abused at least four male students between the ages of 14 and 17 throughout his years at Yorkville High School.” At the time, Hastert would have been “in his 20s and 30s.”
The victim who took him to court never tried to “blackmail Hastert that he’d go public about the abuse.” Instead, it’s alleged that Hastert “voluntarily entered into” the payment agreement.
The banks set a limit on withdrawals where anything above $50K gets flagged. Hastert wrote a few checks in a row just below the limit. That can get you flagged too, he found out.
He had already paid the boy “$1.7 million over four years but stopped the payments after the FBI questioned him in 2014 about illegally concealing huge cash withdraws from his bank.” Even the Speaker of the House gets investigated.
According to the prosecutors, it was Speaker Hastert who “asked that lawyers not be brought in to put the $3.5 million deal in writing.” It was as far as everyone can tell, “a legitimate deal between an abuser and the abused.”
Hastert “admitted in his criminal case that he abused the man and other athletes, though in some filings in the civil case he sometimes appeared to be backing away from that admission.”