Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert on Wednesday admitted to sexually abusing teenage boys during his time as a high school wrestling coach in a Chicago suburb before his career as an elected official.
Struggling to stand in federal court Wednesday, 74-year-old Hastert gripped his walker, approached the microphone and said that he “mistreated” some of his wrestlers and apologized.
“They looked to me, and I took advantage of them,” Hastert said as he awaited his sentencing after pleading guilty last fall to breaking federal banking laws in a hush-money case. “I apologize to the court and to the people of the United States.”
Judge Thomas Durkin sentenced Hastert to 15 months in prison, a $250,000 fine, along with two years of supervised release on the condition that he get sex offender treatment. Prosecutors had recommended a six-month sentence. Durkin called Hastert a “serial child molester” and said he must not contact any of his victims.