Before his sentence in federal court today [April 27] former House Speaker Dennis Hastert finally admitted to molesting boys decades ago when he was a high school wrestling coach.
According to the Chicago Tribune, once he reached the microphone Hastert apologized for victimizing the boys while coaching at Yorkville High School. Judge Thomas M. Durkin responded with a direct question on whether he sexually abused the victims. Hastert then finally said, “Yes.”
He said he didn’t remember abusing the alleged victim Scott Cross in his court testimony, but Hastert said he accepted his statement. He said that what he did was wrong and it’s something he regrets, especially when the boys looked up him.
Cross, now 53, spoke in the courtroom about his childhood sexual abuse encounters with Hastert and that years later he sought professional help from the pain. He revealed the abuse to his parents just last year.
The judge asked about another alleged victim named Stephen Reinboldt, but Hastert referred to that as “a different story.” Prosecutors called for a sentence within guidelines and asked for the judge to consider the credible allegations that Hastert molested five teen boys in the 1970s.
U.S. District Judge Thomas M. Durkin sentenced Hastert up to five years in prison, however his lawyers are seeking probation for the former politician.