CHICAGO (AP) – An advocacy group supporting victims of sex abuse says they hope the 15-month prison sentence for former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert in his hush money case will help deter future crimes and encourage victims and witnesses to speak out.
Hastert was sentenced in federal court Wednesday after pleading guilty to violating a banking law as he sought to pay someone $3.5 million to keep sex abuse secret. He also faces sex offender treatment, two years of supervised release after prison and a $250,000 fine that’ll go to a crime victims fund.
In court, U.S. Judge Thomas M. Durkin called Hastert a “serial child molester.”
In a statement, The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests says jailing abusers is the best way to protect children. They say an abuser’s title “should never be a factor in his or her being held responsible for their crimes” whether that person is a “politician, pastor or plumber.”