Prosecutors: Former Speaker Hastert molested at least 4 boys

Prosecutors working former House Speaker Dennis HastertJohn (Dennis) Dennis HastertFeehery: Defending the process of freedom Feehery: On 'Independent' commissions Feehery: The tyranny of the House majority MORE’s case said in new court filings that Hastert molested at least four boys as young as 14.


Allegations of sexual crimes have followed Hastert's federal banking crimes case, in which he was accused of agreeing to pay $3.5 million to cover up wrongdoing, reportedly to a man he sexually abused when he was 14.

The alleged abuse occurred in the 1960s, '70s and '80s while Hastert was working as a high school teacher and wrestling coach in Illinois. According to the New York Times, court documents say that Hastert "used his position of trust as a teacher and coach to touch a child’s genitals and then undress and ask the child for a back massage in a motel room ... There is no ambiguity; defendant sexually abused Individual A.” 

The Times also reports that Hastert had inappropriate contact and performed sexual acts on at least three other wrestlers.

An alleged fifth victim, whose sister told news outlets her brother was abused by Hastert, died in 1995. 

Hastert, 74, pleaded guilty in October to breaking banking laws, taking out large amounts of cash but keeping withdrawals small enough to avoid being flagged by banks. It had been widely reported that the crime was tied to hush money for a sexual abuse victim, but the Friday filings are the first time prosecutors have stated the allegations in official documents.

Hastert managed to pay "Individual A" $1.7 million before being questioned by the FBI about his withdrawals and cutting off payments, according to the Associated Press. Hastert at one point told the FBI that he was being extorted by someone falsely claiming sexual abuse. Filings show that Hastert, attempting to prove extortion, agreed to let the FBI record phone calls between him and "Individual A," leading investigators to conclude that the abuse had taken place and interview the individual.

Hastert’s lawyers this week requested that the judge keep him from jail and sentence him to probation, citing his failing health and public humiliation. Hastert cannot be charged in any of the alleged sexual crimes, as the statute of limitations has run out.

Federal guidelines for the financial crime suggest a sentence of up to six months, but the judge could sentence him to up to five years. 

"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.

Hastert is set to be sentenced on April 27. 

Hastert, a Republican from Illinois, served as Speaker of the House from 1999 to 2007. 

-Updated at 11:45 p.m.