Call it Denny Hastert’s legacy: End the statute of limitations on sex abuse crimes

By Editorial Board

May 4, 2017 | Uncategorized

At his sentencing hearing a year ago, former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert apologized for sexually abusing boys he’d mentored decades before as a wrestling coach at Yorkville High School. “For 11 months, I have been struggling to come to terms with events that occurred almost four decades ago,” he said at the emotional Chicago hearing in which a federal judge called him a “serial child molester.”

Hastert wasn’t convicted on any sexual abuse charges, however. The statute of limitations had long ago expired. Instead, he was convicted on charges relating to bank fraud. A federal investigation into suspicious bank transactions by the former Illinois legislator and congressman had eventually revealed the sexual abuse.

Hastert was sentenced to 15 months in prison, which he is scheduled to complete this fall. He is also due to get word on Wednesday whether his state retirement benefits will be slashed by a board that governs Illinois lawmakers’ pensions.

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