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Ex-U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert Won't Appeal His Prison Sentence

By Sophie Lucido Johnson in News on May 12, 2016 8:41PM

Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert has opted not to appeal his 15-month sentence on his bank violations conviction. Because of a statute of limitations in Illinois set on child sex abuse crimes, Judge Thomas Durkin was only able to pass down sentencing for Hastert for the hush money Hastert allegedly paid one of his victim's families to keep his crimes under wraps. Prosecutors requested a lighter sentence for Hastert, and Hastert's lawyers asked for probation; but Durkin called him a "serial child molester" and said the harsher sentence was justified, as many victims have come forward. Hastert's lawyer, Thomas Green, confirmed to the Associated Press today that his client would not appeal his sentence, and provided no further details.

Hastert's failing health may influence his surrender date, which has not yet been set. He pleaded guilty in October to one count of illegally structuring $950,000 in bank withdrawals paid to a "longtime acquaintance" to hide wrongdoings from his past.

NPR reported this morning that Illinois lawmakers may soon vote to change the law around Illinois' statute of limitations on sexual abuse crimes. Illinois currently allows victims of child sex abuse to bring charges against an assailant 20 years after they turn 18.