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Ex-House Speaker Dennis Hastert ordered to report to prison by June 22

By Martin Smith
With good behavior, former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert could be released from prison in little over a year. Photo by Kamil Krzaczynski/UPI
With good behavior, former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert could be released from prison in little over a year. Photo by Kamil Krzaczynski/UPI | License Photo

CHICAGO, May 20 (UPI) -- Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert has been ordered to report to prison by June 22 to begin his 15-month sentence in a hush money case related to sexual abuse of a male student.

He has also been given his prison I.D. The man who was once second in line to the presidency will be known as Federal Inmate No. 47991-424.

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U.S. District Judge Thomas M. Durkin issued the order Thursday afternoon that Hastert is to "surrender to the designated institution" no later than 2 p.m. that day.

Durkin recommended that Hastert serve his sentence at the Bureau of Prisons medical facility in Rochester, Minn. The 74-year-old former Republican congressman from northern Illinois recently had a stroke and has other health problems.

Hastert was sentenced April 27 on charges of fraud and lying to federal agents. With credit for good behavior, he could free after 12 1/2 months.

He was accused of sexually abusing four boys between the ages of 14 and 17 when he worked as a teacher and wrestling coach at Yorkville High School in the small town of Yorkville, Ill., west of Chicago, between 1965 and 1981.

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Hastert served in the Illinois House of Representatives for six years, and was first elected to Congress in 1986. He became speaker in January of 1999, and served as the leader of the House for eight years, until Jan. 3, 2007.

He pleaded guilty in October to bank fraud for "structuring" withdrawals from his bank account to evade mandatory reporting requirements for any transaction $10,000 or above.

Hastert admitted he arranged the payments to a person only identified as Individual A to cover up decades-old alleged sexual misconduct. He also admitted lying to the FBI when questioned in 2014 about the bank withdrawals.

Hastert said he agreed to make the payment to settle "past misconduct" against that person.

In court, he admitted to the abuse, saying he "mistreated" some wrestlers he coached, saying: "They looked to me, and I took advantage of them."

"What I did was wrong and I regret it," Hastert said.

Northern District of Illinois Judge Thomas M. Durkin -- who called Hastert a "serial child molester" -- said Hastert should enroll in a sex-offender treatment program.

Although Hastert previously did not admit to sexually abusing the boys, when Durkin directly asked if Hastert sexually abused the victims; Hastert's reply was "Yes."

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