Ex-US House speaker Dennis Hastert sentenced to 15 months in jail

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A federal judge has sentenced Dennis Hastert to 15 months in prison, calling the former House Speaker “a serial child molester” who tried to cover up his abuse with hush money, the BBC reports.

Using a wheelchair, Hastert, 74, told the court he was “deeply ashamed” that he “mistreated” students while he worked as a school coach in the 1970s.

One of the victims said the abuse left him “devastated” and “betrayed”.

Hastert served as an Illinois congressman from 1987 to 2007.

He was the longest serving Republican House Speaker in US history. As House Speaker, Hastert was second in the line of succession to the presidency.

In 2000, a resolution recognizing the Armenian Genocide almost reached the House floor for a vote.

But then-Speaker Dennis Hastert refused to allow a vote, supposedly at the request of the Clinton administration. Hastert subsequently joined a lobbying firm that received $35,000 a month from Turkey.

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