Former U.S. Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert has been sentenced to 15 months in prison for making illegal bribes to cover up the fact he is a "serial child molester," in the words of the sentencing judge. The decision was announced Wednesday afternooon.
Hastert, 74, pleaded guilty in October to a federal charge in Chicago federal court of "structuring" for evading bank reporting rules by withdrawing large amounts of cash in small increments. He was taking out the funds to make payments to a man identified in court documents by federal prosecutors as Individual A.
Court documents in Hastert's trial revealed that he was accused of abusing five boys in the 1960s and 1970s, decades before he became one of the country's most powerful politicians.
Hastert admitted in his plea deal that he paid US$1.7 million in cash, from June 2010 to December 2014, to someone he had known for decades to compensate for past misconduct.