CHICAGO- Former US House Speaker Dennis Hastert was sentenced on Wednesday to 15 months in federal prison, followed by two years of probation and sex-offender treatment for a financial crime related to his sexual abuse of high school wrestlers decades ago.
US District Court Judge Thomas Durkin called Hastert a serial sex abuser in handing down the sentence, which was longer than the zero to six months recommended by federal prosecutors. Durkin said the sentence would have been even longer if it weren't for Hastert's age, 74, and poor health.
Hastert, the longest-serving Republican House speaker in history and a successful international lobbyist, last October pleaded guilty to structuring, which is withdrawing a large sum of money in small increments to avoid detection.
He was paying the money to one of his five victims. Durkin said that an extremely aggravating factor in the sentencing was that Hastert lied to federal agents about the money and falsely claimed that the victim was extorting him.