(LOS ANGELES TIMES) – Approached by federal agents last year about dozens of large cash bank withdrawals, J. Dennis Hastert said he was being blackmailed by a former student who was falsely accusing the ex-House speaker of sexually abusing him decades earlier when Hastert was a high school teacher and wrestling coach.
The agents took Hastert at his word. But when they listened in on two phone conversations between him and the former student, agents began to suspect the story was a lie.
What soon was apparent, according to an explosive document filed in the federal case against Hastert late Friday, was that instead of being forced to pay to keep false allegations from being spread, Hastert was paying to hide his actual sexual abuse of a 14-year-old boy.
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The document filed by federal prosecutors in advance of Hastert's April 27 sentencing for money structuring – which involves evading reporting requirements for financial transactions — provides a dramatic account of the fall of the man who once was second in line to the U.S. presidency, with the first details of how Hastert allegedly fondled young wrestlers who saw him as a mentor.