Former Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Dennis Hastert was for years known primarily for moving from political obscurity in rural Illinois to spending eight years in the nation’s third highest office. Then came a federal indictment in a secret money case centered on allegations of sexual abuse.
Hastert, then 74, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 15 months in prison.
Lawyers said on Wednesday that Hastert and a man who accused him of child sexual abuse reached an interim out-of-court settlement over Hastert’s refusal to pay the remaining $ 1.8 million of a verbal agreement to pay $ 3.5 million in secret money in return for the Silence Man.
Here are some key events in Hastert’s life and career, as well as the criminal and civil cases against him:
JAN. February 2, 1942: Hastert is born in Aurora, Illinois to a family that runs a farm supply business.
1965: Hastert begins teaching history at Yorkville High School, west of Chicago, and training in wrestling.
1976: Hastert is named Illinois Coach of the Year after leading Yorkville to the state wrestling championship.
1980: Hastert comes third in an Illinois House primary, but the Republican Party chooses him to replace the mortally ill primary winner. Hastert later won the general election and the following year left high school.
1986: Hastert is appointed to replace a Republican congressman fighting cancer. He wins a close election.
1998: Hastert tells outgoing US House Speaker Newt Gingrich that discontent in the ranks of the GOP makes it unlikely that Georgia’s lawmaker will retain the post. Gingrich resigned the next day.
1998: Hastert supports the impeachment of President Bill Clinton following the Monica Lewinsky scandal.
1999: Hastert is elected Speaker of the United States House.
2007: Hastert quits his lecturing post after becoming the longest-serving Republican in that post.
2010: Hastert reportedly agreed to pay someone $ 3.5 million to cover up past misconduct. (A federal indictment filed five years later identifies the person as “Individual A.”)
2010-2012: Hastert reportedly made 15 withdrawals of $ 50,000 to pay the person a total of $ 750,000, paying the money in lump sums of $ 100,000 in cash.
2012-2014: When Hastert learns that any withdrawal greater than $ 10,000 is reported, he has reportedly started withdrawing money in increments of just under $ 10,000.
2013: FBI and IRS begin to investigate Hastert suspected of violating bank reporting requirements.
DECEMBER 2014: Agents question Hastert for the first time about the huge cash withdrawals. He would have said he was bringing the money home because he didn’t trust the banks.
MAY 28, 2015: Hastert is charged with one count of seeking to circumvent bank reporting requirements and one count of lying to the FBI about the reason for his cash withdrawals.
JUNE 9, 2015: Hastert pleads not guilty.
JULY 14, 2015: Defense attorney Thomas Green accuses government leaks of reporting to the media of past sexual misconduct by Hastert, allegations he says could deprive Hastert of a fair trial.
OCT. February 28, 2015: Hastert pleads guilty to circumventing banking laws and accepts a deal with federal prosecutors recommending him not to serve more than six months in prison. A judge, however, could sentence Hastert to up to five years in prison.
DEC. 17, 2015: Hastert’s attorney says in a statement that Hastert suffered a stroke in early November.
JAN. 28, 2016: Federal judge in the Hastert case agrees to postpone sentencing until April 8, after Hastert’s lawyers say he nearly died of sepsis in November and did not had been released from hospital only on January 15.
MARCH 2, 2016: Judge agrees to delay sentencing after prosecutors say a man who claims he was sexually assaulted by Hastert bends down to testify during sentencing but has a dispute on April 8, according to a transcript from a closed meeting. This is the first time court documents have linked allegations of sexual abuse to Hastert.
APRIL 6, 2016: Defense attorneys request probation for Hastert, claiming he is “burdened with guilt”.
APRIL 8, 2016: A court file details allegations of sexual abuse against Hastert by at least four former students – this is the first time prosecutors have confirmed that secret money has been paid to cover up sexual abuse.
APRIL 25, 2016: “Individual A” sues Hastert for breach of contract, claiming he owes him more than half of the $ 3.5 million promised.
APRIL 27, 2016: Judge describes Hastert as a “serial child molester” before sentencing him to 15 months in prison, sex offender treatment, two years on probation and a fine of $ 250,000 which will go to a fund for victims of crime.
MAY 12, 2016: Hastert’s lawyers say he will not appeal his conviction or 15-month prison sentence.
MAY 13, 2016: Hastert pays his fine of $ 250,000.
JUNE 22, 2016: Hastert shows up at a federal prison in Minnesota to begin serving his sentence as Inmate # 47991-424.
APRIL 26, 2017: Trustees of the Illinois State Pension Board terminate Hastert’s pension for his six years on the Illinois General Assembly.
JULY 18, 2017: Federal Bureau of Prisons records show Hastert was released from a Minnesota jail and transferred to a readmission center in Chicago.
SEPTEMBER 2019: A judge rules that a former student who sexually abused Hastert decades ago violated an unspoken $ 3.5 million agreement with Hastert by telling his family members and a friend, but refuses to pronounce a judgment setting out decisive questions in the civil case can only be answered at a trial.
SEVEN. 15, 2021: Hastert and a man who accused him of child sexual abuse reached an out-of-court settlement over Hastert’s refusal to pay the remaining $ 1.8 million of a verbal agreement to pay $ 3.5 million in secret money in exchange for the man’s silence. The deal precedes a civil trial over the case, which is due to start next week.
Source: Associated Press archives, court documents.
The Independent Gt