Lawsuit against Dennis Hastert involving hush-money pact is settled before trial

By Christy Gutowski

CHICAGO — Days before they were set to go to trial, lawyers in a 2016 hush-money lawsuit against former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert involving decades-old sexual abuse agreed Wednesday to settle the case.

A Kendall County judge ruled last week that the man who sued Hastert, seeking the unpaid balance of an alleged $3.5 million pact, would be named publicly at the civil trial. Jury selection had been scheduled to begin Monday in a Yorkville courtroom.

Chief Judge Robert Pilmer had allowed the man’s breach-of-contract lawsuit to proceed under the pseudonym James Doe since it was filed in April 2016.

Hastert was a Yorkville High School teacher and state champion wrestling coach before entering politics in the early 1980s. He rose to become the longest-serving Republican House speaker in U.S. history.

The plaintiff in the suit was a former Yorkville standout student-athlete who alleged Hastert sexually abused him one night at an out-of-state wrestling camp in the 1970s. The student was 14 at the time.

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