CHICAGO (CBS) — For the first time, federal prosecutors are laying out the alleged sexual abuse at the heart of Dennis Hastert’s money-laundering scheme — an alleged pattern of abuse the former U.S. House speaker tried to hide with $3.5 million in hush money.
Prosecutors indicate at least five victims were sexually abused by Hastert during his time as a wrestling coach at Yorkville High School.
CBS 2’s Irika Sargent reports on the sometimes explicit details contained in a document the feds filed Friday as the 74-year-old Republican nears his April 27 sentencing.
One alleged victim, identified as Individual A, says he was abused by Hastert during a wrestling trip in a motel room.
Prosecutors says Hastert told the teen boy to “lie down on the bed and take off his underwear,” according to the filing.
Hastert “began massaging Individual A’s groin area … touching him in an inappropriate sexual way.” They went to sleep in the same bed, the government says.
Prosecutors say Hastert also used the locker room and offers of massages on other young wrestlers as a way to sexually abuse them.
The court filing says one boy was alone in the locker room with Hastert when Hastert told him “to get on a table so defendant could loosen him up.” Hastert “started massaging him before performing a sexual act,” prosecutors allege.
And another alleged victim says hastert put a recliner chair “in direct view of the shower stalls in the locker room where he sat while the boys showered.”
CBS 2 legal analyst Irv Miller says even though this is a money-laundering case, prosecutors want a punishment that addresses the sexual abuse.
“They want the judge to be fully advised as to what this case is about,” Miller says. “It’s not just about money-laundering. It’s about the sexual abuse of children.”
Hastert is not charged with sexual abuse, but was targeted by the feds for structuring bank transactions while paying off one of his alleged victims.
Prosecutors say Hastert should be sentenced to up to six months in prison.
Hastert’s attorneys plan to file a response to the prosecution but have asked the judge to seal it from public view.