by Frank Conklin, The Chicago Times
September 12, 2021
YORKVILLE, IL — If his case goes to trial this month, a man who accused Dennis Hastert, former U.S. House Speaker, of child sexual assault and then sued him for refusing to pay $1.8 million in exchange for his silence will be named in court.
On Thursday, a Kendall County judge ruled that the man’s name must be made public during his trial. The man claims Hastert sexually abused him as a student athlete in the 1970s while Hastert was a wrestling coach at a high school in Yorkville, Illinois.
The former Hastert has denied any sexual contact with his accuser, claiming that he was treating him for a groin injury.
Hastert was indicted on federal charges of structuring bank withdrawals to avoid bank reporting requirements and making false statements to federal investigators on May 28, 2015.
According to federal prosecutors, Hastert’s funds were used as hush money to conceal his previous sexual misconduct.
Hastert reached a plea deal with prosecutors in October 2015. According to the terms of the agreement, Hastert pleaded guilty to the felony charge of structuring, and the charge of making false statements was dropped.
Federal prosecutors claimed in court filings filed in April 2016 that Hastert molested at least four boys as young as 14 years old during his time as a high school wrestling coach. Hastert admitted to sexually abusing boys he coached during a sentencing hearing.
In 2016, a federal judge sentenced Hastert to 15 months in prison, two years of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine. Hastert would be released 13 months later.
Frank Conklin, Illinois Political Columnist for The Chicago Times. Views and comments expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the official position of The Chicago Times.