Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert sentenced to 15 months in prison

CHENEY HASTERT
FILE - In this March 1, 2006 file photo, Vice President Dick Cheney, left, talks with Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., right, as they wait for the arrival of Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi who will addresses Members of the 109th Joint Session of Congress of the United States on Capitol Hill in Washington. A newly unveiled indictment against Hastert released Thursday, May 28, 2015, accuses the Republican of agreeing to pay $3.5 million in hush money to keep a person from the town where he was a longtime schoolteacher silent about "prior misconduct." (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

CHICAGO (AP) – A federal judge has sentenced Dennis Hastert to 15 months in prison in a hush-money case that centered on accusations that the former U.S. House speaker sexually abused at least four students when he was a high school wrestling coach.

Judge Thomas M. Durkin announced the sentence Wednesday. Hastert also must undergo sex offender treatment, two years of supervised release after his time behind bars and a $250,000 fine to go to a crime victims fund.

He pleaded guilty last fall to violating banking law as he sought to pay someone referred to as Individual A $3.5 million to keep sex abuse secret.

Before he sentenced Hastert, Durkin described the 74-year-old Illinois Republican as a “serial child molester,” and that “accusing Individual A of extorting you was unconscionable.”

He was the nation’s longest-serving GOP speaker and was second in the line of succession to the presidency.

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