A judge today sentenced former U.S. Congressman and admitted child molester Dennis Hastert to fifteen months in federal prison—longer than the government had requested—citing the severity of Hastert’s crimes.
Hastert, who was accused of improperly withdrawing funds to pay off one of his accusers, was not charged with the molestation because the Illinois state of limitations had already expired. Instead he pleaded guilty to banking fraud charges, for which the government asked the court to sentence him to six months. Hastert, citing his ailing health and record in the U.S. House of Representatives, requested probation.
During the sentencing hearing, one alleged victim, Scott Cross, and the family of another, Stephen Reinboldt, testified about the alleged abuse. Hastert, during his testimony, admitted abusing Reinboldt, but said he could not remember touching Cross.
Calling Hastert a “serial child molester,” who lied to the FBI—a crime in and of itself—the judge rejected both sentencing recommendations, and instead sentenced Hastert to fifteen months.
“This is not meant to be a death sentence,” said Durkin, who had discretion to sentence Hastert to up to five years. The judge says he will recommend Hastert be housed in a level four medical facility. Hastert will also have to register for sex offender treatment, undergo two years of supervised release after his sentence, and pay a $250,000 fine.