Hastert’s settlement with accuser to be finalized Monday

YORKVILLE, Ill. (AP) — The deadline for attorneys to finalize an out-of-court settlement between former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert and a man who accused him of child sexual abuse was delayed until next week, the court clerk’s office said Friday.

A hearing on the agreement and an order to dismiss the lawsuit that the man brought over what he claimed was Hastert’s refusal to pay him $1.8 million to remain quiet about the alleged sexual abuse will be held Monday, according to the clerk’s office in Kendall County. Attorneys originally had until Friday to present the judge with the written settlement.

No details have been released about the settlement and it was not immediately clear what, if any, details would be made public Monday. The attorneys representing Hastert and the man who sued him did not immediately return messages seeking comment Friday.

The two sides announced last week that a settlement had been reached, days before the scheduled start of the civil trial over Hastert’s refusal to pay the outstanding balance of the $3.5 million that Hastert verbally agreed to pay the man to buy his silence.

The man, who contends Hastert sexually abused him when he was a teenager and Hastert was a wrestling coach at Yorkville High School in the 1970s, has been referred to only as James Doe in court papers since the lawsuit was filed in 2016. However, Kendall County Judge Robert Pilmer ruled this month that his name could be made public at trial.

His attorney, Kristi Browne, has not said if that ruling entered in the decision to settle the case.

Hastert was one of the most powerful politicians in the nation and the longest-serving Republican House speaker in American history when he stepped down from office in 2007, but revelations about the hush money agreement were at the center of a case that led to criminal charges against him years later.

Hastert pleaded guilty to illegally concealing huge cash withdrawals from his bank and was sentenced to more than a year in prison in 2016. Prosecutors said Hastert sexually abused at least four male students decades ago but he could not be charged with sexual abuse because the statute of limitations had long since run out.

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