Dennis Hastert Sexual Abuse Case: Former Speaker Indicted For Allegedly Covering Up Sexual Misconduct With Student
Dennis Hastert, former House Speaker, has been indicted after allegedly lying to the FBI to hide sexual misconduct with a student.
Dennis Haster Sex Abuse Case
Hastert, a Republican from Illinois, served in the House of Representatives for 20 years and was elected as Speaker of the House in 1999, a position he held until retiring in 2006. Now 73, Hastert is being accused of lying to the FBI and is rumored to have paid money to conceal past sexual misconduct with a student while he was a high school teacher.
The Justice Department, IRS and the Disctrict Court of Northern Illinois indicted former Speaker Hastert on Thursday for illegally moving funds in 2010 to avoid IRS detection. The indictment stated that Hastert moved money around specifically to pay an unnamed individual $3.5 million as an effort to cover up “bad acts” committed by Hastert.
Hastert reportedly paid the $3.5 million in smaller installments from 2010-2013. His large cash withdrawals, which began in 2010, raised eyebrows, and when he learned about the legal limits of cash withdrawals, he allegedly structured his withdrawals strategically to ensure they were all less than $10,000. This reportedly caught the attention of the FBI, which launched an investigation into Hastert in 2013. When questioned about the withdrawals, Hastert allegedly lied to the authorities, claiming he was withdrawing cash from his bank because he didn’t trust the institution.
Following the indictment, reports suggested Hastert’s “bad acts” is in fact sexual misconduct that occurred before Hastert became a politician, when he was a high school teacher and wrestling coach. Hastert was a teacher in Yorkville, Illinois, from 1965 to 1981, a fact clearly stated at the top of the indictment.
On Friday, it was reported that a man has accused Hastert of sexually abusing him during his post as high school wrestling coach. “The man – who was not identified in court papers – told the FBI that he had been touched by Mr. Hastert when Mr. Hastert was in a high school teacher and wrestling coach, the two people said on Friday. The people briefed on the investigation spoke on condition of anonymity because they did not want to be identified discussing a federal investigation,” wrote The New York Times.
Furthermore, authorities reportedly considered adding another victim to the indictment, but decided not to. Meanwhile, the Yorkville school district, where Hastert worked, released a statement proclaiming they had never heard of any allegations of misconduct against Hastert. “Yorkville Community Unit School District #115 has no knowledge of Mr. Hastert’s alleged misconduct, nor has any individual contacted the District to report any such misconduct,” reads the statement.
Former students and wrestling team members who were coached by Hastert have come forward saying they never witnessed or heard of any wrongdoing. One told BuzzFeed News that he “never witnessed any inappropriate behavior, or heard rumors of any.”