Weekend Update 5/14/2016: Molester going to prison

“Dennis Hastert committed crimes against children and must be made responsible.”

“Dennis Hastert committed crimes against children and must be made responsible.”

Following up on a story that came to a conclusion the same week I was dealing with a death in the family: Former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Republican Dennis Hastert, was caught paying millions in hush money to try to keep the public from learning that he had molested at least five teen-agers while he was a high school wrestling coach. Because of a statute of limitations on child sexual assault, he couldn’t be charged with those crimes, only with the crime of trying to circumvent certain tax and financial laws, and for lying to the FBI about what he was doing. He has since been sentenced to 15 months in prison: Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert ‘Deeply Ashamed’ as He Faces Accuser at Sentencing.

I’ve written before about his hypocritical conduct in Congress: being anti-gay, trying to shield another child molesting congressman from prosecution, promising the parents of a murdered gay teen he would fight to get a federal hate crimes bill passed and then doing everything he could to kill it (and succeeding), and so on. He’s since been showing up at his court appearances trying to look frailer and more pathetic—first with a cane, then a walker, now being wheeled to the court in a wheelchair. Maybe he is sick, but it is also a common ploy to try to play for sympathy. In any case, the judge certainly wasn’t swayed. Among his remarks during the sentencing, the judge noted, “Nothing is more disturbing than having ‘serial child molester’ and ‘Speaker of the House’ in the same sentence.”

In addition to spending 15 months in prison, with two years of supervision afterward and being forced to register as a sex offender, Hastert is being fined: Former Speaker Dennis Hastert Pays $250K Fine Linked to Sex Abuse.

While he was pleading for a more lenient sentence, Hastert contacted a lot of his former colleagues to write letters to the judge asking for leniency. I think it’s pretty horrible (but not that surprising) how many of his former Republican cohorts wrote such letters. On the other hand, he may have made things worse on himself with one of those requests. One of the people he asked was a former Illinois State Legislator… who happened to be the brother of one of the boys Hastert had molested. Not surprising, the legislator declined to write to ask for leniency, but the incident caused the brother who had been molested to go public about it. Including making a statement to the court about the abuse.

Fifteen months isn’t much punishment for the things that Hastert as done, but it’s a good start.

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About fontfolly

I've loved reading for as long as I can remember. I write fantasy, science fiction, mystery, and nonfiction. For more than 20 years I edited and published an anthropomorphic sci-fi/space opera literary fanzine. I attend and work on the staff for several anthropormorphics, anime, and science fiction conventions. I live near Seattle with my wonderful husband, still completely amazed that he puts up with me at all.

3 responses to “Weekend Update 5/14/2016: Molester going to prison”

  1. Kristin says :

    I liked that the judge in the case would only read the letters supporting Hastert if the writers agreed to be part of the public record. Over half of the ‘supporters’ declined.

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