Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert leaves the Dirksen Federal Court House in a wheelchair after his sentencing. | Getty Images
Hastert’s accuser sued him in 2016, just before U.S. District Judge Thomas Durkin handed Hastert a 15-month prison sentence for a financial crime revolving around the sexual abuse of the man known publicly only as Individual A.
Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert has reached a tentative settlement in a civil case with the man at the center of the prosecution that sent Hastert to prison five years ago, lawyers said.
The settlement was announced during a hearing in the case in Kendall County, where a trial had been set to begin with jury selection Monday.
Kristi Browne, the lawyer for the man known publicly only as Individual A, said the terms of the deal were confidential. Hastert’s attorney declined to comment on the settlement.
Though the agreement scuttled next week’s trial, Browne told reporters, “it’s never over for a victim of childhood sexual abuse.”
“It’s never over,” Browne said. “It impacts them for the rest of their lives. This resolves this case.”
Browne’s client sued Hastert in 2016, just before U.S. District Judge Thomas Durkin handed Hastert a 15-month prison sentence for a financial crime revolving around the sexual abuse of Individual A.
During that sentencing hearing in Chicago’s federal courthouse, Hastert admitted he had abused students at Yorkville High School, where he had been a popular wrestling coach. Durkin referred to the once-powerful politician that day as a “serial child molester.”
Hastert agreed in 2010 to pay Individual A $3.5 million in hush money to keep quiet about the abuse allegations. Hastert’s suspicious bank withdrawals as he worked to make good on that deal eventually caught the attention of federal investigators.
The FBI confronted Hastert before he could make good on the hush-money deal. He paid $1.7 million to Individual A, who then sued in 2016 for the remaining $1.8 million.
This is a developing story.