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