After federal prosecutors alleged numerous sexual encounters with young men who had once wrestled on teams Dennis Hastert coached, the disgraced former House Speaker’s attorney issued a statement Saturday afternoon.
Last night he tweeted a quote from the documents and wrote “I remember this chair”.
Richter went on to admit that the hadn’t thought about the chair in 30 years, though he said it wasn’t that upsetting to him now. “I don’t know if he’s really sorry that he did it or if he’s just sorry he got caught”.
Hastert pleaded guilty in October to breaking bank laws in order to pay off one of his victims.
In another instance, he allegedly massaged a boy’s groin area and singled him out to stay in his hotel room during a wrestling camp. The memo states that it was Hastert’s sexual abuse of a 14-year-old boy that drove the hush money deal. Members of his family say he suffered continued abuse throughout his time in high school. Two of those wrestlers, who were ages 14 and 17, said Hastert performed sex acts on them. The boy quickly realized Hastert “was not touching him in a therapeutic manner to address a wrestling injury”.
Per the Chicago Tribune, one victim alleged that Hastert sat in a ‘”Lazyboy’-type of chair” near the showers in the men’s locker room, and would watch watch the teens.
There was no immediate response to an email to one of his attorneys, Thomas Green, seeking comment on the details in the prosecutors’ filing.
“While [Hastert] achieved great success, reaping all the benefits that went with it”, prosecutors wrote, “these boys struggled, and all are still struggling now with what defendant did to them”. “Some have managed better than others, but all of them carry the scars defendant inflicted upon them“.
Certain patterns about Hastert’s supposed crimes emerged in the court documents. He died in 1995 but told his sister about the abuse prior to his death.
But Hastert is not being charged for the sexual abuse, instead he’s being charged with a felony banking crime which he pled guilty to previous year. After learning that withdrawals larger than $10,000 are flagged, he began taking money out in smaller increments.
Prosecutors say, however, that Hastert’s ascension in politics was only possible because he was able to keep his secret under wraps, and that his “legacy of sexual abuse and its real consequences are as much a part of defendant’s history and characteristics as those he has presented to the court“. Hastert, 74, taught and coached at the school in his hometown of Yorkville in the 1960s and 1970s. He says “the public shaming” and “isolation” of Hastert has already been a significant punishment.
Prosecutors claimed in papers released Friday that he had sexually abused at least four boys during his tenure – and paid $3.5 million for silence from one of his accusers. The payments abruptly stopped late in 2014 after Federal Bureau of Investigation agents questioned Hastert about his massive cash withdrawals. Hastert, he said, touched him in an inappropriate way.