Child molester Dennis Hastert wants his victim to pay up.
The infamously anti-gay former House speaker wants “James Doe”—formerly identified in court proceedings as “Individual A”—to refund $1.7 million in hush money he paid out after molesting Doe, then just 14 years old, during a wrestling trip decades ago. Hastert was then a high school teacher and athletic coach before striking it big in Republican politics.
When James Doe found out he wasn’t Hastert’s only victim a decade ago, he confronted Hastert and began receiving cash payments for his silence. The victim said that Hastert promised him $3.5 million if he did not speak to authorities about the abuse.
But the hefty payout was halted after $1.7 million, when federal agents confronted Hastert about his cash withdrawals. Hastert is currently serving 15 months in prison for financial crimes relating to how he structured those withdrawals. He won’t do a single day for his sexual abuse because the statute of limitations had long expired, though he admitted to molesting James Doe and several other former students in court. He was placed in the Rochester Federal Medical Center in Minnesota, a prison with “a significant percentage of the prisoners” who are sex offenders so that he wouldn’t be singled out by other convicts, the judge sentencing him said.
Hastert had tried to brush the abuse off as a groin rub before finally apologizing at his sentencing hearing.
The judge, meanwhile, called him a "serial child molester” when handing down the sentence.
James Doe, who has remained anonymous throughout the legal proceedings, is now suing Hastert for breach of contract, saying he’s still owed $1.8 million from the man who molested him for keeping silent about the abuse.
Hastert in turn denies that the two men had a "valid and enforceable" contract, but says that Doe "promised to keep their discussion and the subject matter of the discussion confidential." So when the victim cooperated with the authorities while they were investigating his mysterious cash withdrawals, Hastert argued in court papers seeking to dismiss the suit against him and recoup the hush money he’d already paid, Doe violated whatever agreement the two did have.
"Mr. Hastert has decided that rather than live up to his promise to compensate his victim for his molestation and resulting injury, he will ask his victim to pay him,” Kristi Brown, Doe’s attorney, told The Daily Beast in a statement on Thursday. "He admits to agreeing to make payments, but then denies that it is an agreement that he has to keep. His response is predictable and we look forward to entering the discovery phase of the case.”
—with additional reporting by Brandy Zadrozny