Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert Paid Hush Money to Keep Sexual Molestation Claims Hidden: The Associated Press

House Speaker Dennis Hastert

It has come to notice that former House Speaker Dennis Hastert has paid money to not reveal claims that he has sexually molested someone many years back. A person familiar with the allegations shared the same with The Associated Press on Friday.

The person spoke on a condition of keeping his identity concealed as the investigation is taking place. As per the federal indictment, Hastert agreed paying $3.5 million as a bribe to keep quiet to a male student whom he has allegedly sexually molested decades ago.

At that time, Hastert was a teacher and wresting coach in Illinois and late in 1980s, he entered into politics. As per authorities, the victim who has spoken with law enforcement officials was one of Hastert’s students.

There are chances that Hastert will not face molestation charges as authorities do not think there are sufficient changes to have a case against the longest-serving Republican speaker in House history.

Also, the Chicago Tribune on Friday reported that a top official has told that investigators have talked with a second person who has also raised similar allegations that supports what the student has said. As per the official, the second student was not paid.

The case has shocked Washington, where Hastert has been a lobbyist since his retirement from Congress. “The Denny I served with worked hard on behalf of his constituents and the country. I'm shocked and saddened to learn of these reports”, said House Speaker John A. Boehner.

In an interview, Hastert lied to the FBI agents investigating the matter. He told them that he withdrew the money as he did not feel safe keeping it in the banking system. Prosecutors said that if Hastert is convicted of seeking to evade banking laws and lying to the FBI, then he can face imprisonment up to 10 years.