One of the highest-ranking officials in American history to serve a prison sentence began his sentence Wednesday. Former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert reported to a federal prison in Minnesota to begin his 15-month sentence. The 74-year-old Northern-Illinois Republican pleaded guilty to financial crimes connected to alleged decades-old sexual abuse of minors while teaching during the 70s.
There are five alleged sexual abuse victims stemming from Hastert’s time as a wrestling coach at suburban Yorkville High School. Hastert could not be prosecuted for the alleged sex crimes since the statute of limitations had long passed. Hastert’s pension from his time as a school teacher was stripped, but he will continue to be paid his pensions from when he was a state and federal lawmaker since no crime was uncovered during that time. Hastert served as House Speaker from 1999 to 2007.