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Former US House speaker Dennis Hastert accused of child molestation

Former US House speaker Dennis Hastert accused of child molestation

London : Former United States House speaker Dennis Hastert has been accused of molesting four boys while working as a high school wrestling coach.

Court filings have shown that Hastert agreed to pay one of his victims, who was aged 14 at the time of the abuse, 3.5 million dollars, reports the Guardian.

The prosecutors have confirmed the filing, in which Hastert, as house speaker from 1999 to 2007, paid hush-money to conceal these incidents of sex abuse.

The sex abuse allegations date back to between 1965 and 1981 when Hastert was employed with the Yorkville High School in the Chicago suburb of Yorkville.

Hastert ‘s chain of deception began with him exploiting his position of trust as a teacher and a coach. Apart from lying to bank officials, he had also made false claims of extortion to the FBI to conceal his wrongdoing.

The filing also recommends that a federal judge sentence Hastert to up to six months in prison for violating banking laws.

Prosecutors say the 74-year-old Republican continued to abuse boys when he first decided to run for office, but managed to keep any hint of sexual misconduct quiet throughout his political career.

From the Illinois Legislature to the halls of Congress and to the speaker’s office, he was second in the line of succession to the presidency.

He pleaded guilty for breaking banking laws in October and is scheduled to be sentenced on 27 April. Meanwhile, citing his deteriorating health and public shame for his deeds, the defense has asked the judge to spare Hastert probation and prison time.(ANI)