Former U.S. House Speaker and Wheaton College alumnus Dennis Hastert may no longer stand trial over a hush money case where a man, who’s identified only as James Doe in court documents, accuses Hastert of decades-long sexual abuse. A settlement agreement announced Sept. 15 has been tentatively reached.
The terms of the deal have not been disclosed, to date.
What’s At Issue?
The man who sued Hastert was seeking $1.8 million in the remaining unpaid balance from an alleged $3.5 million pact to remain mum. His identity was expected to be revealed publicly in court had the case gone to trial, in accordance to an earlier ruling made by a judge.
It remains unclear if that prompted both sides to reach a settlement agreement. Jury selection was slated to begin Monday in the Kendall County lawsuit.
Why the Case Matters
The hush money case prompted a federal criminal trial in 2016 over banking charges, which led Hastert to face time in prison. Ultimately, he would be released in the summer of 2017 after serving part of a 15-month sentence.
But Hastert admitted to abusing multiple athletes at Yorkville High School during the federal court proceedings. Around that time, the statute of limitations had run out to charge Hastert with criminal sexual abuse.
Hastert, the longest serving Republican U.S. House speaker, was previously a teacher and a wrestling coach at Yorkville High School in the early 1980s.
A Kendall County judge, Robert Pilmer, called off the trial Sept. 15 and is awaiting written agreement and notification from both sides no later than Sept. 24.
Naperville News 17’s Megann Horstead reports.
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Photo courtesy of Ron Sachs—REX/Shutterstock.com
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