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Former US House Speaker Dennis Hastert sued by accuser for $1.8 million

Former US House Speaker Dennis Hastert sued by accuser for $1.8 million

Former Speaker of the US House of Representatives Dennis Hastert is being sued for $1.8 million by a former male student he allegedly sexually abused as a high school teacher and coach in the 1970s.

Hastert, 74, had pleaded guilty in federal court last fall in a related hush money case and could serve time in prison.

He admitted to agreeing to pay the one-time student $3.5 million then lying to federal authorities about the bank withdrawals related to the payments.

The former student had received $1.7 million in payments from Hastert and is now suing for the balance, according to NBC News.

In the lawsuit filed in Illinois state court, the plaintiff claims Hastert, a trusted family friend, invited him to a wrestling camp for high schoolers and then molested him in a motel room.

He did not confront Hastert until 2008 when he spoke with another person who claims to have also been molested by Hastert.

The plaintiff said he suffered panic attacks for years which resulted in unemployment, depression, hospitalization and long-term psychiatric treatment, according to the lawsuit.

Hastert, the longest-serving Republican speaker in US history, had agreed to a plea deal in his criminal case instead of going through an embarrassing trial.

The former lawmaker admitted to a judge in Chicago Federal Court that he did know what he was doing was wrong regarding the payments and said he lied to the FBI about it because ‘I didn’t want them to know how I intended to spend the money.’

Hastert, married to a woman and the father of two children, was charged with one count each of structuring currency transactions to evade currency transaction reports and making a false statement to the FBI.

Under the plea agreement, Hastert could serve up to six months in jail but the judge could impose a longer sentence.

He indicted in March 2015 for lying to federal officials about cash withdrawals from various banks which triggered suspicion.

Hastert succeeded Newt Gingrich as speaker and held the position from 1999 to 2007. He was succeeded by Nancy Pelosi when Democrats took control of the House. He resigned from the House in late 2007 and went on to become a Washington lobbyist and consultant.

Following his indictment, he resigned from his lobbyist position at Dickstein Shapiro.