Judge Allows Hastert Abuse Victim to Sue

Individual seeks remaining $1.8 million as part of hush money scheme

A federal investigation into a hush-money scheme uncovered the dark past of former Speaker Dennis Hastert.  (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

An Illinois judge is allowing one of Dennis Hastert’s sexual abuse victims to sue the former House speaker for the remaining $1.8 million — plus interest — he says he’s owed as part of a hush-money scheme.

The lawsuit was filed days before Hastert was sentenced in April to 15 months in prison during an emotional court hearing in which he admitted to abusing underage boys during his years as a high school teacher and wrestling coach.

In an order filed Monday, Kendall County Circuit Court Judge Robert P. Pilmer denied Hastert’s request to dismiss the individual's case and said the plaintiff had “plead the necessary elements to allege a claim for contract.”

“The court is obligated to review the allegations of the complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff to determine whether the allegations are sufficient to state a cause of action for which relief may be granted,” Pilmer wrote in the order.

The individual, who has not been identified publicly, requested the use of a pseudonym when filing the lawsuit, citing the highly sensitive nature of the matter.

The individual is suing Hastert for breach of contract, saying he kept up his end of the deal by not publicly disclosing sexual abuse claims, and is seeking the remaining amount of money that was verbally agreed upon between him and Hastert.

Hastert had paid the man $1.7 million from June 2010 to December 2014, court records show. Hastert stopped paying the individual after the longest serving Republican speaker came under federal investigation related to large cash withdrawals from banks that prosecutors said evaded federal banking requirements.

Authorities found that Hastert was withdrawing $50,000 increments, then $9,000 increments to pay a man known as “Individual A” as part of an agreement to not disclose the abuse.

Contact Rahman at remarahman@cqrollcall.com or follow her on Twitter at @remawriter

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