Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert has been sentenced to 15 months in prison in a case involving hush money paid to one of at least four former students he allegedly sexually abused decades ago.
Hastert must also undergo sex offender treatment, two years of supervised release after prison, and pay a $250,000 fine.
Before sentencing, Chicago Federal Court Judge Thomas Thornton described Hastert as a "serial child molester."
Hastert pled guilty last year to structuring bank transactions to circumvent rules governing large transfers of money. He sought to pay $3.5 million dollars to a man, now in his 50’s, to conceal that he sexually abused him while he coached wrestling at an Illinois high school.
Hastert was not charged with sexual wrongdoing because the statute of limitations had run out.
The abuse victim, identified only as Individual A, delivered an impact statement prior to the sentencing. Holding back tears, he told the court he was “devastated" after Hastert molested him.
The 74-year-old Hastert read a prepared statement before he was sentenced, telling the court he had "mistreated" some of his athletes when he coached wrestling from the 1960's through the early 1980's.
The former lawmaker was once third in line to the U.S. presidency and the longest-serving Republican speaker in the country’s history.