Former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert will reportedly plead guilty to charges he paid $3.5 million in hush money to a former male student he allegedly sexually abused during his tenure as a high school teacher and wrestling coach.
The plea negotiations were revealed in a hearing late last month when John Gallo, one of Hastert’s attorneys, said the defense had been discussing with federal prosecutors a possible resolution to the case short of a trial — a signal to a possible guilty plea. At the time, Gallo called the talks “productive.”
The indictment unsealed in late May alleges that Hastert agreed to make $3.5 million in hush-money payments to an undisclosed person identified by prosecutors as Individual A to cover up wrongdoing from Hastert’s time as a high school teacher and wrestling coach in Yorkville. According to the charges, Hastert lied about the reasons he withdrew $952,000 in cash over the previous 21/2 years when the FBI questioned him in December.
Law enforcement sources confirmed that the payments were connected to the alleged sexual abuse. The Tribune also reports that the FBI “interviewed a second person who raised similar allegations against Hastert.”
U.S. District Judge Thomas Durkin set October 28 as the deadline for Hastert to enter his guilty plea.