Quotes from Hastert's sentencing
Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert was sentenced to 15 months in federal prison for avoiding bank reporting requirements and lying to the FBI. The charges centered around Hastert's efforts to conceal past sexual misconduct. Below are excerpts from the hearing at Dirksen Federal Building in Chicago.
"The rise of Dennis Hastert took decades, the fall occurred in days and is as sharp and precipitous as one could imagine."
-- U.S. District Judge Thomas Durkin
"Some conduct is unforgivable no matter how old it is."
-- Durkin, on allegations that Hastert sexually abused students at Yorkville High School, where he worked from 1965 until 1981.
"I wish Mr. Hastert would have been called on the carpet in 1968. This is imperfect, but it's what we've got."
-- U.S. Attorney Zach Fardon
"Nothing is more stunning than uttering serial child molester and speaker of the House in the same sentence."
-- Judge Durkin
"I was struggling to come to terms with events that occurred nearly four decades ago."
-- Hastert, of Plano, on why he lied to the FBI about the reason for his bank withdrawals
"I am deeply ashamed. I am before you today. I am the one solely responsible for being here."
"You think you can deny your abuse of Steve because he can no longer speak for himself. ... I am here."
-- Jolene Burdge, saying Hastert victimized her brother, Stephen Reinboldt, who died in 1995.'
"Coach Hastert was revered in Yorkville. ... As a young boy I wanted to be a part of what Coach Hastert created."
-- Scott Cross of Wheaton, who identified himself as a victim of abuse by Hastert in the late 1970s.
"I did not say anything to anyone. I did not talk about what Coach Hastert had done to me with my parents, my brothers, other coaches or school officials. Coach Hastert and I never spoke of it."
-- Scott Cross
"I want my children and anyone else who was ever treated the way I was to know that there is an alternative to staying silent. As deeply painful as it has been to discuss this with you and with my family, staying silent for years was worse."
-- Scott Cross
"Nothing I say this morning should be interpreted ... as an attempt to minimize emotional trauma and lasting injury."
-- Hastert attorney Thomas Green
"I believe Hastert remained emotionally incapable of reaching inward to address prior misconduct.
-- Green, on Hastert's decision to pay hush money to a victim of sexual abuse