Judge sentences ‘serial child molester’ Hastert to 15 months

CHICAGO — Former House speaker Dennis Hastert, who less than a decade ago stood second in line to the presidency, was sentenced to 15 months in federal prison Wednesday for a bank fraud case linked to allegations he sexually abused teen boys more than 30 years ago.Federal Judge Thomas Durkin called Hastert, 74, a “serial child molester” and rejected a prosecutor’s recommendation of six months in prison on a banking charge that carries a maximum five-year sentence. The court also fined Hastert $250,000 and sentenced him to two years of supervised release after leaving prison. Hastert must register as a sex offender.”Nothing is more disturbing than having ‘serial child molester’ and ‘Speaker of the House’ in the same sentence,” Durkin said.Hastert, who entered court in a wheelchair and needed help standing to address the judge, admitted for the first time mistreating some athletes when he was a high school wrestling coach in Illinois before he began a political career that saw him become the top Republican in Congress.“I want to apologize to the boys I mistreated,” Hastert said. “They looked (up) at me and I took advantage of them.”Zachary Fardon, the U.S. Attorney for Northern Illinois, said federal guidelines for the charge of illegal structuring of bank withdrawals dictated his office’s recommendation for up to a six-month prison term. Hastert pleaded guilty to the charge in October. Fardon noted that Hastert would have faced more serious charges for sex abuse had the statutes of limitation for the criminal sexual misconduct not expired

Source: Judge sentences ‘serial child molester’ Hastert to 15 months

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