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Judge calls Ex-House Speaker Dennis Hastert ‘serial child molester,’ sentences him to 15 months in prison

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CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 28: Former Republican Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert arrives at the Dirksen Federal Courthouse on October 28, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. Hastert was expected to plead guilty to charges that he knowingly lied to the FBI and intentionally evaded federal reporting requirements involving bank transactions. Hastert is alleged to have withdrawn more than $1.5 million dollars in several installments from bank accounts to make payments to an 'Individual A' to cover-up sexual abuse that reportedly took place when Hastert was a teacher and wrestling coach at Yorkville High School. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

CHICAGO — A federal judge has sentenced former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert to 15 months in prison.

Judge Thomas M. Durkin described the abuse detailed by Individual A, whom Hastert sought to pay $3.5 million. The 74-year-old former House Speaker was sentenced Wednesday on his guilty plea to violating banking reporting laws.

Judge Durkin said Individual A was abused as a 14-year-old during a wrestling camp trip to Colorado. Individual A has said other boys on the trip were older and teased A because he would have to sleep alone in Hastert’s motel room while the others slept in another room.

Durkin said Individual A has said he didn’t know to be worried, because Hastert was a trusted coach and friends with the boy’s family.

Durkin said there’s “nothing ambiguous about this. … This is sexual abuse.” He described Hastert as a “serial child molester” and said he would order Hastert to undergo sex offender treatment as part of his sentence.

The 74-year-old Hastert read a prepared statement which he told the court that he “mistreated” some of his athletes. When Durkin asked whether he sexually abused one wrestler specifically, Hastert said yes.

Hastert has told a federal courtroom that he “mistreated” some of the athletes he coached decades ago as a high school teacher and that he’s “deeply ashamed.”

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