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Former House Speaker Hastert reaches settlement deal to avoid trial over hush money payments

Hastert was sentenced in 2016 to 15 months in prison in connection with giving hush money to one of the men he allegedly abused.

Updated: September 16, 2021 - 8:10am

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Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert has reportedly reached a settlement deal with one of the men whom he allegedly sexually abused before joining Congress, avoiding a trial set to begin in Illinois.

Hastert was sentenced in 2016 to 15 months in prison in connection with giving hush money to the man whom he allegedly abused when he was a high school wrestling coach. 

He pleaded guilty to illegally structuring bank withdrawals for the hush money. Prosecutors could not charge him in connection with sex abuse because the statutes of limitation for the criminal sexual misconduct had expired years earlier. 

The settlement to avoid trial was reached Wednesday, according to the Chicago Sun-Times

A lawyer for the plaintiff, who came to be known publicly only as Individual A, said the terms of the tentative settlement were confidential. Hastert’s attorney declined to comment.

Kendall County Judge Robert Pilmer disclosed the settlement and canceled the trial during a hearing. Jury selection had been set to begin Monday. 

The lawyer for the plaintiff also confirmed the judge had earlier ruled her client would have to be named in court, but she declined to say whether that played a role in the last-minute deal, the newspaper also reports.

Hastert admitted during his sentencing hearing roughly five year ago that he had abused students at Yorkville High School.