“This House is a sanctuary; a citadel of law, of order, and of liberty…”

–        Aaron Burr

Imperfect though it is, the US Congress stands as a testament to representative government, an august body which has given rise to great men and women.  Names like Daniel Webster, Henry Clay, Stephen Douglas, and Abraham Lincoln once rang out in these halls.

To the nation’s shame, the name Dennis Hastert is included in the roster.

Hastert served as the 51st Speaker of the House of Representatives (1999-2007).  He might have been known to history for that fact, might have left a positive legacy, except for one thing.  Hastert is, also, a serial child molester [1].

Four of his victims chose to come forward.  There are believed to be others.  Hastert admitted to molesting the boys decades ago, as a high school wrestling coach in Illinois.  He was sentenced this week for having paid $1.7 million in “hush” money to one of them.  The statute of limitations has run on the actual abuse.

Defense counsel sought leniency on the 74 y.o. Hastert’s behalf, arguing that the Court should consider the full scope of Hastert’s life in passing sentence.

In sharp contrast, Scott Cross, now 53 y.o., described his sexual abuse at Hastert’s hands, and its impact [2].  Until learning of the indictment, Cross could not bring himself to reveal the abuse to his family.  Though speaking publicly is still painful for him, Cross expressed the view that failing to speak out would have been worse.

Another victim, Stephen Reinboldt, died of AIDS after years of personal torment.

Letters of support had extolled Dennis Hastert as a “good” man, with few flaws. History is not likely to be so kind.

[1]  CNN, “Dennis Hastert Gets 15 Months in Prison in Hush Money Case” by Tal Kopan and Tami Luhby, 4/27/16, http://www.cnn.com/2016/04/27/politics/dennis-hastert-sentencing/index.html.

[2]  The Daily Beast, “The Courage of Scott Cross and the Cowardice of Dennis Hastert” by Michael Daly, 4/28/16, http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/04/28/the-courage-of-scott-cross-and-the-cowardice-of-dennis-hastert.html.





Filed under Abuse of Power, Child Abuse, Emotional Abuse, Justice, Law, Politics, Sexual Abuse

8 responses to “History

  1. It’s a tragedy for one who was to be a leader in paving the way for justice, was perpetuating such terrible injustice over these young men.
    ‘Cursed is he who distorts the justice due an alien, orphan, and widow.’ Deut. 27:19

  2. This so called “good man” gave his victims a life sentence of torment and pain and to give him a mere 15 months is a travesty. He deserves a life in hell behind bars for the rest of his life. Sorry, I have no sympathy for I have served that life sentence of pain and suffering. But praise God and His mercy He will and does heal our hearts. That doesn’t mean we forget.

  3. Reblogged this on Cyber Support Group and commented:
    In my opinion this man deserves life in prison!

  4. Watching this story on the evening news this week,I was struck by the magnitude of the offenses at the hands of this man who used his position of power and authority to ruin the lives of who knows how many. The thought that the Speaker of the House would commit such atrocities is almost beyond belief.

    Is it any wonder that so many in this country no longer have any faith or
    confidence in its leaders? Our nations leaders are rotten to the core and criminals like Hastert only serve to reinforce that fact. Such is the end result of a nation that has forsaken God.

    The following statement however gets my vote for asinine comment of the year so far:

    “Defense counsel sought leniency on the 74 y.o. Hastert’s behalf, arguing that the Court should consider the full scope of Hastert’s life in passing sentence.”

    So am I to understand that counsel wants his client’s life’s work to be judged as more important that the suffering of his victims? If that is the case,I suggest Hastert’s cell contain bunk beds.

    Oh, and throw away the key please.

    • I hope the judge does consider the “full scope” of his life. Pedophiles don’t start as old men so there’s no telling how many children he’s destroyed and I certainly hope the judge takes that into account as part of that “full scope.”

    • Thank you, as always, for your support, Ron. You can see how discouraging something like this is for victims, especially any abused by an authority figure. Hastert’s friends and supporters could not imagine that he might be guilty. Yet he was.

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