- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 27, 2016

CHICAGO (AP) - The Latest on the sentencing of former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert (all times local):

7:35 p.m.

On the day former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert was sentenced to prison in a hush-money case that revealed accusations he sexually abused teenagers he has also lost his pension from his time as a teacher and wrestling coach.

Teachers’ Retirement System spokesman Dave Urbanek on Wednesday told the Daily Herald in Arlington Heights the $1,385.23 payment that would have gone to Hastert on May 1 won’t be issued.

Although the case against Hastert was about the nation’s banking laws, Urbanek said the sexual abuse factors of the case that dated to Hastert’s coaching career at Yorkville High School meant his teacher pension was taken away.

Urbanek says the pension system’s board didn’t have to vote on the matter, “the law makes the decision.”

Hastert also receives a pension from his time in Congress.

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5:25 p.m.

The Illinois attorney general is calling on state legislators to eliminate the statute of limitations for child sex crimes in the wake of former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert’s sentencing.

Attorney General Lisa Madigan and the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault issued a statement Wednesday, the day Hastert was sentenced to 15 months in a federal hush-money case. He pleaded guilty to breaking banking law while trying to pay someone millions to conceal sexual abuse.

Prosecutors contend the abuse occurred while Hastert was a teacher and wrestling coach decades ago, but too much time had passed to bring charges for the abuse.

The statement didn’t specifically mention Hastert, but says cases are especially difficult when the perpetrator is in a position of trust, “like a teacher or coach.” The statement says removing the statute of limitations on felony criminal sexual assault and sexual abuse crimes against children allows time for people to come forward.

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4:25 p.m.

An Illinois Republican congressman says the “decades-long cover up” of sex abuse by former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert is over.

U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren issued a statement Wednesday, shortly after Hastert was sentenced to more than a year in prison in his federal hush-money case.

Hastert, also a Republican, pleaded guilty to breaking federal banking law while trying to pay someone $3.5 million to conceal sexual abuse.

Prosecutors say the abuse occurred decades ago while Hastert was a teacher and wrestling coach in Yorkville, a city about 50 miles from Chicago that’s within Hultgren’s congressional district.

Hultgren says the abuse diminished the dignity of children. He says he admires the courage of those who stood up and spoke out.

Testimony during Wednesday’s hearing included a man who said he was abused by Hastert while a wrestler in Yorkville. Hastert apologized in court.

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1:35 p.m.

Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert’s attorney says his client accepts the sentence and will focus on addressing his health issues and “healing the emotional damage” inflicted on his family and friends.

Attorney Thomas Green issued a statement Wednesday after a judge imposed a 15-month sentence on Hastert, who had pleaded guilty to violating a banking law as he sought to pay someone millions to keep sex abuse secret.

A victim and the sister of another victim testified in court.

Hastert apologized in court and said he accepted the sentence. A prison location and report date will be determined at a later date.

Green’s statement said Hastert will now focus on addressing health issues and emotional damage done to friends and family who showed “unwavering support.”

Attorneys have said Hastert has been in poor health after nearly dying from a blood infection and suffering a stroke in November. Hastert used a wheelchair during Wednesday’s proceedings and required assistance to get in and out of a vehicle.

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1:10 p.m.

U.S. Attorney Zachary Fardon says those who testified in federal court about being sexually abused by former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert were “courageous,” ”selfless” and critical to ensuring a “day of reckoning.”

Hastert was sentenced Wednesday to 15 months in prison after pleading guilty to violating a banking law as he sought to pay someone millions to keep sex abuse secret. He also faces sex offender treatment, two years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine that’ll go to a crime victims fund.

Testimony during the sentencing hearing included a man who said he was abused decades ago by Hastert, who was his wrestling coach, and the sister of another man who was abused and is now deceased.

Fardon says “history would have told a lie” without the case and the victims’ testimony. He also thanked the “tenacity” of law enforcement for bringing the case to light.

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1:05 p.m.

Two former educators at the high school where former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert once worked say the man they were once so proud of deserves the 15-month prison sentence he received in a hush-money case.

Frank Babich became Yorkville High School’s principal a few years after Hastert left but says Hastert betrayed the students to whom he was a hero whenever he returned to talk about government and attend wrestling tournaments.

He says the judge was right to impose the sentence Wednesday despite Hastert’s failing health because the molestation devastated the boys and the entire community.

The saga is much more personal for Bob Evans, because Hastert was one of his closest friends. He says he’s spent months trying to remember if he saw anything that would have made him suspicious and that he wishes he had seen something because maybe he could have prevented some of the abuse.

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1 p.m.

The sex abuse victim who testified against Dennis Hastert at the former U.S. House speaker’s sentencing hearing says he finally decided to do so publicly after Hastert reached out to his brother for a letter of support.

Scott Cross is a 53-year-old businessman who lives in the Chicago suburbs and was on the Yorkville High School wrestling team that Hastert coached in the 1970s.

Cross, whose brother is former Illinois House Republican leader Tom Cross, said in court that Hastert fondled him on a locker room table after practice.

The Associated Press normally does not name sexual abuse victims, but Scott Cross gave the AP permission to publish his name after the hearing. In court records, he was referred to only as “Individual D.”

Tom Cross released a statement Wednesday saying the family is proud Scott had “the courage to relive this very painful part of his life” so justice could be done.

Hastert was sentenced to 15 months in prison.

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12:40 p.m.

Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert has left a federal courthouse in Chicago after being sentenced to just over a year in prison in a hush-money case centered on sex-abuse allegations.

The 74-year-old Illinois Republican was pushed in a wheelchair and then helped into a black SUV outside the high-rise courthouse in downtown Chicago after Wednesday’s roughly two-hour hearing. His attorneys say he has been in poor health after nearly dying from a blood infection and suffering a stroke in November.

Hastert didn’t address the numerous reporters gathered in the lobby. Onlookers gathered across the street, some yelled at Hastert. A prison and report date will be determined at a later date.

Hastert pleaded guilty to breaking banking law as he sought to pay someone $3.5 million. Prosecutors say it was hush money to conceal past sexual abuse against a student wrestler while Hastert was a high school teacher and coach.

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12:25 p.m.

An advocacy group supporting victims of sex abuse says they hope the 15-month prison sentence for former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert in his hush money case will help deter future crimes and encourage victims and witnesses to speak out.

Hastert was sentenced in federal court Wednesday after pleading guilty to violating a banking law as he sought to pay someone $3.5 million to keep sex abuse secret. He also faces sex offender treatment, two years of supervised release after prison and a $250,000 fine that’ll go to a crime victims fund.

In court, U.S. Judge Thomas M. Durkin called Hastert a “serial child molester.”

In a statement, The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests says jailing abusers is the best way to protect children. They say an abuser’s title “should never be a factor in his or her being held responsible for their crimes” whether that person is a “politician, pastor or plumber.”

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12 p.m.

Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert has become one of the highest-ranking politicians in American history to be sentenced to prison.

Hastert 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. He was sentenced Wednesday to 15 months in prison, sex offender treatment, two years of supervised release after his time behind bars and a $250,000 fine that will go to a crime victims fund.

When U.S. Judge Thomas M. Durkin read the sentence, Hastert sat unmoving in his wheelchair, hands folded on his lap, shoulders hunched and his face drawn.

The 74-year-old Illinois Republican was the nation’s longest-serving GOP speaker and was second in the line of succession to the presidency.

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11:50 a.m.

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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11:40 a.m.

A federal judge has described the abuse detailed by Individual A, whom Dennis Hastert sought to pay $3.5 million.

The 74-year-old former House Speaker is at a sentencing hearing Wednesday on his guilty plea to violating banking reporting laws.

Judge Thomas M. Durkin said Individual A was abused as a 14-year-old during a wrestling camp trip to Colorado. Individual A has said other boys on the trip were older and teased A because he would have to sleep alone in Hastert’s motel room while the others slept in another room.

Durkin said Individual A has said he didn’t know to be worried, because Hastert was a trusted coach and friends with the boy’s family.

Durkin said there’s “nothing ambiguous about this. … This is sexual abuse.”

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11:25 a.m.

A federal judge has described Dennis Hastert as a “serial child molester” as he prepares to issue a sentence in the former U.S. House speaker’s hush-money case.

Judge Thomas M. Durkin said Wednesday that he would order Hastert to undergo sex offender treatment as part of his sentence.

The 74-year-old Hastert read a prepared statement which he told the court that he “mistreated” some of his athletes. When Durkin asked whether he sexually abused one wrestler specifically, Hastert said yes.

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11 a.m.

Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert has told a federal courtroom that he “mistreated” some of the athletes he coached decades ago as a high school teacher and that he’s “deeply ashamed.”

The 74-year-old Republican spoke during his sentencing hearing Wednesday in federal court in Chicago. He said, “I mistreated some of my athletes that I coached,” and that “I’m deeply ashamed to be standing before you today.”

Hastert pleaded guilty in October to violating banking reporting laws as he sought to pay someone $3.5 million.

Hastert’s plea deal sets out a sentencing guideline ranging from probation to six months behind bars. But the judge could impose a harsher sentence.

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10:45 a.m.

A defense attorney for former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert has told a federal courtroom that he “acknowledges and respects” the pain of a man who says Hastert sexually abused him when Hastert was a high school wrestling coach.

Attorney Thomas Green spoke Wednesday at a sentencing hearing in Hastert’s hush-money case.

Green urged the judge to take into consideration the “entire arc” of Hastert’s life, asserting that he reshaped his life as a public servant during his political career.

The 74-year-old Republican pleaded guilty in October to violating banking reporting laws as he sought to pay someone $3.5 million.

Hastert’s plea deal sets out a sentencing guideline ranging from probation to six months behind bars. But the judge could impose a harsher sentence.

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10:40 a.m.

The lead prosecutor in the Dennis Hastert hush-money case says he wishes the former U.S. House speaker could have been charged with the sexual abuse he was trying to cover up.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven Block said Wednesday that Hastert’s conduct while a high school teacher and coach was “horrendous.”

Because of the statute of limitations, Hastert could only be charged with a financial crime related to payments he made to one of at least four victims of sexual abuse.

Block said whatever sentence Hastert gets should take into account that the 74-year-old Republican “continues to deny what should now be obvious to everyone.”

Hastert pleaded guilty in October to violating banking reporting laws as he sought to pay someone $3.5 million.

Hastert’s plea deal sets out a sentencing guideline ranging from probation to six months behind bars. But the judge could impose a harsher sentence.

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10:30 a.m.

A former high school athlete who says he was sexually abused by Dennis Hastert when the former U.S. House Speaker was his wrestling coach has told a courtroom that he was “devastated” after Hastert abused him in a high school locker room.

The remarks by the man referred to in presentencing filings only as Individual D were part of a victim impact statement at Hastert’s sentencing Wednesday at a federal courthouse in Chicago.

The man struggled to hold back tears as he described the abuse in detail, which the man said happened while he and Hastert were alone in the locker room. He said he trusted and looked up to Hastert.

He also said he sought professional help in years since and has had trouble sleeping, but it still causes him suffering.

Hastert pleaded guilty in October to violating banking reporting laws as he sought to pay someone $3.5 million. Prosecutors say it was hush money to conceal past sexual abuse.

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10:25 a.m.

A man who says Dennis Hastert sexually abused him when he was a high school wrestler has come forward to speak at the former House speaker’s sentencing hearing in his hush-money case.

The man referred to in presentencing filings only as Individual D began making a statement Wednesday at the 74-year-old Hastert’s sentencing in Chicago.

Individual D told prosecutors previously he was 17 when Hastert molested him in a locker room at Yorkville High outside Chicago. Prosecutors say Hastert sexually abused at least four students when taught and coached at the school until 1981.

Hastert pleaded guilty to breaking banking law as he sought to pay someone referred to as Individual A $3.5 million to keep Hastert’s sex abuse secret.

He faces a prison sentence of up to five years.

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10:20 a.m.

A woman who says her brother was sexually abused by Dennis Hastert when the former U.S. House Speaker was an Illinois high school wrestling coach has told a courtroom that he felt “betrayed, ashamed and embarrassed.”

Jolene Burdge said Wednesday that Hastert abused her brother, Stephen Reinboldt, throughout his years at Yorkville High School, where Hastert was a history teacher and coach from 1965 to 1981.

Hastert pleaded guilty in October to violating banking reporting laws as he sought to pay someone $3.5 million. Prosecutors say it was hush money to conceal past sexual abuse.

His plea deal suggests a sentence between probation and six months behind bars.

Reinboldt died of AIDS in 1995. Burdge said Wednesday toward Hastert “don’t be a coward … tell the truth.”

She also told Hastert, “I hope I have been your worst nightmare.”

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10:01 a.m.

The sentencing hearing in former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert’s hush-money case centered on sex-abuse allegations for has begun in a federal court in Chicago.

Hastert was brought into the courtroom in a wheelchair a few minutes before the hearing started Wednesday. An attorney was carrying a walker.

The 74-year-old Republican pleaded guilty to breaking banking law as he sought to pay someone $3.5 million to conceal dark secrets from his past.

His plea deal suggests a sentence between probation and six months behind bars. But Judge Thomas M. Durkin has recently made comments suggesting he could impose a far stiffer sentence.

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7:30 a.m.

Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert has arrived at a federal courthouse in Chicago for his sentencing in a hush-money case centered on sex-abuse allegations.

A man helped the 74-year-old Republican out of a black SUV and into a wheelchair along the curb outside the high-rise courthouse in downtown Chicago on Wednesday morning. His attorneys say he has been in poor health after nearly dying from a blood infection and suffering a stroke in November.

Hastert pleaded guilty to breaking banking law as he sought to pay someone $3.5 million. Prosecutors say it was hush money to conceal past sexual abuse against a student wrestler while Hastert was a high school teacher and coach.

His plea deal sets out a sentencing guideline ranging from probation to six months behind bars. But the judge could impose a harsher sentence.

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1 a.m.

Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert is stepping before a judge to learn his punishment in a hush-money case centered on sex-abuse allegations.

At Wednesday’s hearing in Chicago, federal prosecutors intend to focus on accusations that Hastert molested at least four students when he coached wrestling at an Illinois high school.

The 74-year-old Republican pleaded guilty to breaking banking law as he sought to pay someone $3.5 million to conceal dark secrets from his past. His plea deal suggests a sentence between probation and six months behind bars.

But Judge Thomas M. Durkin made comments at recent hearings suggesting he could impose a far stiffer sentence than a half-a-year in prison.

If that happens, Hastert would become one of the highest-ranking politicians in American history ever to be incarcerated.

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