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Hastert sentenced to 15 months in jail as he faced accuser

Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert was sentenced Wednesday to 15 months in federal prison and two years of supervised release in a so-called hush money case in which he made payments to a student he allegedly sexually abused.

The former student of Yorkville High School in Illinois identified himself Wednesday as Scott Cross, now a married father of two and a businessman. He called his abuse by Hastert, who was his wrestling coach, as “his darkest secret as [Hastert] became more powerful.”

Cross said Hastert offered him massages to help him lose weight and described one incident when he was 17 in which Hastert “grabbed my penis and began to rub me. Stunned, I pulled up my shorts and ran out of the locker room.”

Hastert told the judge, “I am deeply ashamed to be standing here today. … I want to apologize to the boys I mistreated. I was wrong and I accept that.”

U.S. District Judge Thomas Durkin referred to Hastert as a “serial child molester” while delivering the sentence.

The judge also required Hastert to follow a sex offender treatment program.

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