(CBS) — Wednesday, the former U.S. Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert will learn his fate.
CBS 2’s Derrick Blakley spent Tuesday in Plano, where the Hastert family has lived for 20 years. and where — for many — support has turned to scorn.
Plano is Hastert’s stomping grounds, but lunchtime visitors to the Friendly Tap no longer feel so friendly about the former speaker. Most want him sent to prison.
“Because he is older, they’re gonna say ‘Well he’s gonna die in jail.’ Well, maybe, but how many times did the children die that he molested?” said Judy Pacheco.
Federal prosecutors are recommending Hastert receive up to six months in prison for violating federal banking regulations to conceal hush money payments meant to a history of molestation.
His victims included four wrestlers and a student manager for the team he coached at Yorkville High School. But Rick Trevino thinks six months is much too low.
“As somebody who was supposed to be entrusted, someone whose parents entrusted him to take care of their children, double digit years, absolutely,” Trevino said.
Sentiment that reveals a deep sense of betrayal toward a native son, who wrestled at Oswesgo High, played football at Wheaton College, and rose to second in line to the presidency.
“He is an absolutely loyal person who had no skeletons in his closet,” said Dallas Ingemunson, a former Kendall County GOP official.
Some here still hope he avoids jail.
“His health is pretty bad,” said Plano businessman Ralph Alderson. “I don’t know how he would do if he had to go to prison.”
But many more feel like 82-year-old Bonnie Thompson. Asked if she thinks it will be a sad day when Hastert is sentenced, she said, “No, I think he deserves to go somewhere.”
Judge Thomas Durkin can sentence Hastert to no more than five years in prison. Hastert’s lawyers want probation.
CBS 2’s Brad Edwards reports on Tuesday, across from the federal court where Hastert will learn his sentence, the group SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, held a vigil for victims of abuse.
“One of Dennis Hastert’s victim’s did not survive, his name is Steven Reinboldt,” said SNAP director Barbara Blaine.
Reinboldt died of AIDS in the 1990s.
“Had Dennis Hastert not sexually violated him as a youngster, he might still be alive today,” Blaine said.
Reinboldt is one of maybe five victims, including the one Hastert paid nearly $1.7 million in cover up cash to.
Hastert, the star wrestler at Oswego and later star coach in Yorkville was a winner.
He always won and he almost won here, covered it up then hard-sold the FBI that he was being black mailed.
Federal prosecutors have continuously ratcheted up the heat on Hastert. They want Hastert treated as a sex offender upon supervised release.