Hastert to Appear in Court This Month With Plea Agreement
Updated 11:47 a.m. | Allegations that former Speaker J. Dennis Hastert molested male students when he was a high school teacher in Yorkville, Ill., appear unlikely to be fully aired at trial.
The Illinois Republican will appear in federal court on Oct. 28 to enter a guilty plea, according to a report from the Chicago Tribune. In June, Hastert appeared on charges he violated banking laws and lied to the FBI. Hastert previously pleaded not guilty to the criminal charges related to an alleged hush-money scheme , which was reportedly connected to sexual misconduct .
During the 9 a.m. hearing Thursday, attorneys said a written plea agreement would be handed over to the judge on Oct. 19. But the agreement will not be released to the public. There was no mention in court of which charges Hastert may plead guilty to, nor were there details about the possibility of jail time.
Hastert’s defense team had expressed concern about pre-trial leaks to the media.
The reported molestation allegations stem from before his political career, when Hastert was a wrestling coach and teacher. Since the 73-year-old was indicted on May 28 on federal charges allegedly related to a $3.5 million scheme to conceal “prior misconduct,” multiple reports have suggested “Individual A” may have been sexually abused by Hastert.
Federal law enforcement sources told the Chicago Tribune Hastert was paying to cover up sexual abuse of a Yorkville High School student years ago.
A plea agreement would likely resolve any potential concern about misconduct by the Department of Justice during the case. Attorneys could argue the leaks had already punished Hastert by damaging his reputation, legal sources told CQ Roll Call.
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