Sep 15, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Former House speaker settles child sexual abuse payments suit

Photo of Dennis Hastert sitting in a chair

Photo: Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert has reached a tentative out-of-court settlement with the man who accused him of child sexual abuse, AP reported Wednesday.

Why it matters: Hastert had refused to pay an outstanding $1.8 million, which was part of a deal to secure an accuser's silence, according to their lawyers. The case was set to go to trial next week.

  • The man, referred to as James Doe in court papers, was a high school wrestler when Hastert, who was his coach at the time, allegedly sexually abused him.
  • He voluntarily entered into an agreement with Hastert to remain silent and did not ever pursue blackmail, federal prosecutors say.
  • He filed a breach of contract lawsuit in 2016, alleging that Hastert paid him only half of the agreed-upon $3.5 million.
  • Details of the settlement were not released.

Don't forget: Hastert, the longest-serving Republican speaker in U.S. history, pleaded guilty to a banking charge in 2016 after the FBI questioned him about illegally concealing significant cash withdraws.

  • Federal prosecutors allege that he molested at least four boys as young as 14 during his tenure as a high school wrestling coach.
  • In the course of the trial, Hastert admitted to abusing multiple students while he worked in education, per NPR.
  • He has not faced charges for sexual abuse due to statutes of limitations, per the New York Times.
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