U.S. Attorney: Hastert a "broken, humiliated man"

  • Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert leaves the Dirksen Federal Building in Chicago Wednesday after being sentenced on charges he structured cash withdrawals to avoid bank reporting requirements. Prosecutors said he did so in order to pay hush money to keep quiet sexual abuse he committed against five teens when Hastert taught and coached at Yorkville High School.

      Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert leaves the Dirksen Federal Building in Chicago Wednesday after being sentenced on charges he structured cash withdrawals to avoid bank reporting requirements. Prosecutors said he did so in order to pay hush money to keep quiet sexual abuse he committed against five teens when Hastert taught and coached at Yorkville High School. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert leaves the Dirksen Federal Building in Chicago Wednesday after being sentenced on charges he structured cash withdrawals to avoid bank reporting requirements. Prosecutors said he did so in order to pay hush money to keep quiet sexual abuse he committed against five teens when Hastert taught and coached at Yorkville High School.

      Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert leaves the Dirksen Federal Building in Chicago Wednesday after being sentenced on charges he structured cash withdrawals to avoid bank reporting requirements. Prosecutors said he did so in order to pay hush money to keep quiet sexual abuse he committed against five teens when Hastert taught and coached at Yorkville High School. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert leaves the Dirksen Federal Building in Chicago Wednesday after being sentenced on charges he structured cash withdrawals to avoid bank reporting requirements. Prosecutors said he did so in order to pay hush money to keep quiet sexual abuse he committed against five teens when Hastert taught and coached at Yorkville High School.

      Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert leaves the Dirksen Federal Building in Chicago Wednesday after being sentenced on charges he structured cash withdrawals to avoid bank reporting requirements. Prosecutors said he did so in order to pay hush money to keep quiet sexual abuse he committed against five teens when Hastert taught and coached at Yorkville High School. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert arrives Wednesday at the federal courthouse in Chicago for his sentencing on federal banking charges which he pleaded guilty to last year.

    Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert arrives Wednesday at the federal courthouse in Chicago for his sentencing on federal banking charges which he pleaded guilty to last year. Associated Press

  • Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert arrives at the federal courthouse Wednesday, April 27, 2016, in Chicago, for his sentencing on federal banking charges which he pleaded guilty to last year.

    Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert arrives at the federal courthouse Wednesday, April 27, 2016, in Chicago, for his sentencing on federal banking charges which he pleaded guilty to last year. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 4/28/2016 3:51 PM

U.S. Attorney Zachary T. Fardon said U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert's "legacy is gone and in its place is a broken, humiliated man."

"That is as it should be," the prosecutor said.

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His comments came shortly after Hastert was sentenced to 15 months in prison, a term perhaps lengthened by the testimony of Scott Cross, who said he had been molested by the former speaker.

Cross is the brother of former House Republican Leader Tom Cross of Oswego, a political protégé of Hastert's.

That was courageous, that was selfless, that was important," Fardon said. "I am in awe of him."

-By Kerry Lester and Barbara Vitello

15 months

Judge Thomas Durkin sentenced former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert to 15 months in prison after calling him a "serial child molester." See how he came to the decision below.

-By Kerry Lester and Barbara Vitello

"Serial child molester"

Federal judge: Dennis Hastert is a "serial child molester." Judge Thomas Durkin is giving comments ahead of Hastert's sentencing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"Nothing is more stunning than uttering serial child molester and Speaker of the House in the same sentence," he said.

-By Kerry Lester and Barbara Vitello

Speaking out

Scott Cross, a brother of one of Dennis Hastert's most successful political protégé, said he spoke out about being sexually abused because "there is an alternative to staying silent."

Cross, known until this morning as Individual D, is the only man to speak publicly about being abused by Hastert.

Attorneys in the case said Cross decided to step forward when his brother, former House Republican Leader Tom Cross, was approached to write a letter in support of Hastert ahead of today's sentencing hearing.

As the hearing continued, prosecutors said of Hastert: "Being exposed may be shameful, but it is not accountability."

Cross identified

Individual D, the only man to speak publicly about being abused by former House Speaker Dennis Hastert, identified himself as Scott Cross, the 53-year-old brother of former Illinois House Republican Leader Tom Cross.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Scott Cross' voice shook as he described his experience as a high school wrestler.

"Coach Hastert sexually abused me my senior year of high school," Cross said.

"I trusted him," he said.

Tom Cross has long been described as Hastert protégé.

Scott Cross says he spoke to let people know that "there is an alternative to staying silent."

-By Kerry Lester and Barbara Vitello

Jolene Burdge, the sister of a man who she says was sexually abused by former U.S. Speaker Dennis Hastert, has begun testifying at his sentencing hearing.

Burdge read from a letter her late brother, Stephen Reinboldt, wrote to their mother as he was dying.

"I held Steve's hand the night he died," she said.

Burdge looked at the speaker: "I hope I have been your worst nightmare," she said.

-By Kerry Lester and Barbara Vitello

Hearing starts, 10 a.m.

Former U.S. Speaker Dennis Hastert's sentencing hearing has begun.

The longest serving GOP speaker in history was pushed into the courtroom in a wheelchair and a walker sat nearby, and Judge Thomas Durkin walked into the courtroom at just about 10 a.m.

The longtime suburban lawmaker may soon hear testimony from a former high school student who prosecutors say was molested by Hastert and the sister of another man who has made similar accusations.

"Ultimately, I wish he would just come clean," Jolene Burdge, sister of former Yorkville High School student Stephen Reinboldt, told ABC news.

A man known as Individual A, who Hastert is accused of trying to pay $3.5 million in hush money, is not expected to testify.

Prosecutors have suggested a prison term of no more than six months after Hastert pleaded guilty to federal banking charges. But given Burdge's testimony, Judge Thomas Durkin could decide otherwise.

-By Kerry Lester and Barbara Vitello

Arrival, 7 a.m.

The former speaker has arrived at the Dirksen Federal Building for his sentencing.

He's in a wheelchair, as shown in video here.

Hastert is facing potential prison time on federal banking charges, but he could hear the testimony of two people related to accusations of sexual assault going back to his time as a high school teacher in Yorkville.

Check back here for ongoing updates as former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert faces his sentencing hearing today.

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