Amid his imprisonment, former House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) decided to sue his sexual abuse victim to recoup hush money.
Hastert, 75, is serving 15 months in federal prison for bank fraud. After his sexual abuse victim came forward decades ago, he paid the victim $1.7 million in hush money. He filed the countersuit Jan. 18, asking an Illinois judge to order the victim to repay the money in full. Federal investigators only discovered the case after they found he was illegally structuring bank withdrawals.
The victim, referred to as “Individual A”, was a 14-year-old student at Illinois’ Yorkville High School when the abuse occurred. Hastert was a teacher and wrestling coach at the school. Allegedly, the abuse occurred on a wrestling trip and Hastert was a close friend of the victim’s parents.
Reports indicate Individual A confronted Hastert years after the incident, requesting compensation for the trauma. Hastert agreed to pay the victim $3.5 million in installments to keep the matter private. He only paid the victim $1.7 million before investigators caught on.
After Hastert’s bank fraud conviction in 2016, the victim sued him for the $1.8 million he failed to pay. Hastert issued the counterclaim saying the victim “doesn’t deserve a dime” because he broke their hushed agreement.
Kristi Browne, Individual A’s attorney, said the counterclaim is predictable.
“Mr. Hastert has decided that rather than live up to his promise to compensate his victim for his molestation and resulting injury, he will ask his victim to pay him,” she said. “He admits to agreeing to make payments, but then denies that it is an agreement that he has to keep.”
Individual A’s lawsuit indicates he eventually suffered panic attacks, unemployment, depression, and required psychiatric treatment.
During his sentencing last April, Hastert admitted to the abuse, as well as abusing other athletes in the 1970s. The federal judge referred to him as “a serial child molester,” citing he inappropriately touched at least four students. Other accusers confirmed the multiple cases of abuse.
Despite the allegations, Hastert is set for Parole in August.
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