After months of hinting from federal prosecutors in the Rep. Dennis Hastert hush-money case, a shocking report confirms today that the former House Speaker was directly involved in the sexual abuse of at least four individuals during his time as a high school teacher and a wrestling coach.
Representative Dennis Hastert made headlines last year when a federal grand jury indicted the former House Speaker on charges that he unlawfully structured a withdrawal of a massive amount of money. The FBI began investigating and uncovered the hush-money scheme, but questions remained: who was he paying off, and why? According to the Chicago Tribune, Dennis Hastert was paying off his victims, men who he sexually assaulted while working as a high school teacher and wrestling coach.
Ex-House speaker Dennis Hastert apologizes for "misconduct" while seeking probation in hush money case. https://t.co/QqCv12YnXY.— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) April 7, 2016
The FBI alluded to the sex abuse allegations for months, but until today, they’d only been rumors. The Chicago Tribune released a detailed report today illustrating the full extent of the alleged Dennis Hastert sex abuse. At least four men have come forward, reports Fox News. They spoke with the FBI about Dennis Hastert and the sexual abuse they endured at his hands when they were teenagers.
Representative Dennis Hastert was an influential figure in the Republican Party before his retirement and eventual prosecution in the hush-money scandal. In 2012, Hastert endorsed Mitt Romney, securing some important votes for the former Massachusetts Governor. The Dennis Hastert scandal has unfolded slowly since a civil case was filed against the former House Speaker in 2013. In 2015, the FBI confirmed that Hastert was under investigation for financial irregularities. It wasn’t until late 2015 that the sex abuse allegations against Dennis Hastert began to attract public attention, as the Inquisitr reported at the time.
Some of Dennis Hastert’s sex abuse victims had reportedly spoken privately about the abuse for years, but none of them came forward until Hastert had been indicted. Some of Hastert’s victims were paid in excess of $1 million to keep quiet about the abuse. However, once the FBI got a hold of the case, the surviving victims started coming forward, speaking with authorities and the Chicago Tribune about the abuse they endured at Dennis Hastert’s hands.
One of Hastert’s victims has since passed, and the Tribune has confirmed the identities of the three others who Dennis Hastert abused during his time as a high school teacher. The Chicago Tribune has not – and reportedly will not – disclose the identities of Hastert’s victims, but the report released today details Hastert’s sexual abuse and gross misconduct during his time as a high school teacher.
One of Hastert’s alleged victims died of AIDS in 1995, but his sister spoke with the Tribune and confirmed the sexual abuse allegations against Hastert. She spoke out about the details that her brother shared with her before his death. Two of the other alleged Hastert victims were reportedly popular students from well-known families.
The Chicago Tribune contacted Dennis Hastert’s attorney about the sexual abuse allegations, and his response didn’t confirm or deny Hastert’s involvement in the sex abuse. Hastert’s attorney only confirmed that the former House Speaker is “ashamed” and “profoundly sorry” for his transgressions.
“Mr. Hastert has made mistakes in judgment and committed transgressions for which he is profoundly sorry. He understands the gravity of the misconduct decades ago, and regrets that he resorted to an effort to prevent disclosure of that misconduct,” said Tom Green, one of Dennis Hastert’s attorneys.
Dennis Hastert is now 74-years-old and in poor health after suffering a near-fatal blood infection and stroke. It’s unclear if he’ll live to see the inside of a courtroom in any potential civil case for child sex abuse.
Dennis Hastert was the longest serving Speaker of the House until his retirement in 2007.
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