Election Day loss for jailed ex-House Speaker Dennis Hastert

ABC7 I-Team Investigation

ByChuck Goudie and Christine Tressel WLS logo
Tuesday, November 8, 2016
Former U.S. Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert.

KENDALL COUNTY, Ill. (WLS) -- Even though former House Speaker and Illinois congressman Dennis Hastert can't run for office, or even vote Tuesday, he has suffered an Election Day loss.

Hastert's motion to dismiss a lawsuit filed by a sexual abuse victim was denied by a Kendall County judge.

The 2010 breach-of-contract claim was filed by a former student-athlete that Hastert coached at Yorkville High School in the 1970's. The man, now married and middle-aged, claimed Hastert agreed to pay him $3.5 million if he didn't disclose publicly that Hastert inappropriately touched him when he was 14 years old. The abuse happened during a wrestling trip while the two stayed in a hotel.

The unidentified plaintiff filed that lawsuit in April, shortly before Hastert was put in federal prison in a related hush-money case.

Judge Robert Pilmer ruled that claims in the man's lawsuit were sufficient to proceed. The three-page decision filed Monday by Pilmer clears the way for the lawsuit , although it still could be thrown out at some point.

Hastert has admitted paying the former wrestler $1.7 million during more than four years-to keep him quiet about the sexual abuse decades earlier. Last December after the FBI questioned Hastert about the case, the former House Speaker stopped making hush money payments to the former student.

The plaintiff claims that Hastert still owes him the balance of $1.8 million as required in their deal. "We're seeking that Mr. Hastert make good on what he agreed to do," said Kristi Browne, attorney for the plaintiff known as Individual A.

Hastert, 74, is currently locked up in the federal penitentiary in Rochester, Minnesota. He is scheduled for parole next summer.

During Hastert's federal case, it was established that the former top congressman inappropriately touched at least five male students when he was a coach from 1965 to 1981.