Politics

Imprisoned Hastert Wants Judge to Throw Out Victim's Civil Suit

Lawyers will argue Monday that hush money agreement is unenforcable

Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert was sentenced to 15 months in prison and ordered to pay $250,000 to a victim's fund for breaking banking laws as he sought to pay a man to keep quiet about past sexual abuse when Hastert was a coach at Yorkville High School . (Joshua Lott/Getty Images file photo)

Imprisoned former House Speaker Dennis Hastert shouldn't have to honor a deal he made to pay one of his victims $3.5 million in hush money because the pact is unenforceable, his lawyers are reportedly scheduled to argue Monday.  

The hearing, at an Illinois county courthouse, will be the first since Hastert's lawyers asked a judge this month to dismiss the breach of contract lawsuit filed by a former student athlete, who wants Hastert to pay the $1.8 million balance, plus interest, of an out-of-court settlement the man said the two made several years ago, according to The Chicago Tribune .

 

The victim's lawsuit was filed well after the statute of limitations and the man, identified in court records as "James Doe," violated the terms of the contract when he disclosed Hastert's decades-old sexual misconduct to authorities, Hastert's lawyer John Ellis argued in a brief filed July 15 at Kendall County Circuit Court in Yorkville, Illinois, the Tribune reported.  

The judge is not expected to immediately rule on Hastert's request, according to the newspaper.

 

The breach of contract lawsuit was filed days before Hastert, 74, was sentenced in April to a 15-month prison term on federal banking violation charges related to the payments. Hastert admitted to abusing underage boys as a high school wrestling coach in the 1970s, years before he served in public office. Prosecutors said they had identified at least four victims — including the man who is now suing him — but the statute of limitations had expired on those cases.

Hastert paid the man, now a middle-aged, married father, $1.7 million from June 2010 to December 2014, when Hastert's banking activity became the subject of a federal investigation. 
 
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