What We Know About the Dennis Hastert Scandal

More details have emerged about the former speaker's alleged victims.

ByABC News
June 1, 2015, 12:13 PM

— -- New details about an alleged hush money scandal involving former Republican Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert have been trickling out over the weekend.

Now, sources say, two male students who knew Hastert, 73, when he was a high school teacher and wrestling coach before he entered politics have accused him of sexual misconduct.

Hastert has not commented or been seen publicly since his indictment was announced last week. ABC News has reached out directly to Hastert by email, but has not received a response. There is no lawyer of record listed for Hastert in court filings.

A spokeswoman for the FBI in Chicago told ABC News that the investigation is continuing.

Here is a rundown of the latest confirmed information about the case.

What Happened

Hastert was indicted for bank fraud and lying to the FBI about the reason why he was withdrawing money. The bank fraud charge comes as a result of the former speaker making well over $1 million in withdrawals but taking it out in increments of less than $10,000 to avoid having to report it to the FBI.

If convicted of both charges, Hastert could face as many as 10 years in prison.

What the Money Allegedly Was For

The indictment does not go into explicit details about what the money allegedly was used to cover up, stating only that it was “to cover up past misconduct.”

The alleged “misconduct” referenced in the indictment is sexual in nature, and dates back to Hastert's time as a high school coach and teacher in Yorkville, Illinois, sources with knowledge of the case tell ABC News.

PHOTO: A photo showing Dennis Hastert is seen in the Yorkville, Illinois High School yearbook from 1980.
A photo showing Dennis Hastert is seen in the Yorkville, Illinois High School yearbook from 1980.

Who Was the Alleged Victim?

The indictment does not identify the alleged "misconduct" victim, calling him "Individual A" throughout. The man identified as "Individual A" in the complaint was a student at the school where Hastert worked at the time the alleged misconduct took place, according to sources familiar with the case.

Hastert worked in the Yorkville school district from 1965 until 1981 as a high school teacher and wrestling coach, and it was in one of those roles that he met the individual. That timetable suggests that his former students and former players would be between 47 years old and 68 years old now.

Was There Only One Student Allegedly Involved?

Sources tell ABC News that there is a second individual who allegedly was victimized in a similar way by Hastert when he was a student. According to sources familiar with the investigation, this person neither asked for nor received any money from Hastert. Sources say the misconduct was of a sexual nature.

Could the Student Face Prosecution?

In theory, if Hastert were paying the individual because the former student was threatening to reveal the alleged misconduct, that could be considered extortion and the former student could face charges as a result.

Experts believe that it is unlikely that the individual would ever face extortion charges, however, because Hastert would have to admit that he was being extorted and explain the nature of the threats.

“Under the Federal Extortion Act, there has to be a victim that was the subject of the extortion. In this situation, at least to date, Hastert has denied he was a victim of extortion,” Amy Tenney, a professor at American University Washington College of Law, told ABC News.

PHOTO: Then-House Speaker Dennis Hastert leaves his election night party, Nov. 7, 2006 in St. Charles, Illinois.
Then-House Speaker Dennis Hastert leaves his election night party, Nov. 7, 2006 in St. Charles, Illinois. Hastert won his district but will lose his job as Speaker after the Republicans appear headed to lose control of the House of Representatives to the Democrats.

How People Who Know Hastert Are Reacting

Gary Matlock, a member of the wrestling team that Hastert led to state championships, said that he was “an exemplary person” when he was his coach from 1969 to 1973.

“I had Mr. Hastert as a teacher and coach and not once, not one inkling, thinking back 45 years, had I ever heard of anything whispered, any gossip, whatever, that he was doing anything that was unprofessional, irresponsible or anything out of his personal life that was irrational,” Matlock told ABC News.

In Washington, politicians on both sides of the aisle have expressed shock at the charges, including current House Speaker John Boehner, who said, “The Denny I served with worked hard on behalf of his constituents.”

President Obama has not commented on the allegations, but White House spokesman Josh Earnest spoke about the charges to ABC News’ Jon Karl over the weekend.

“Even though Speaker Hastert served as Speaker of the House in another party, there’s no one here who derives any pleasure from reading about the allegations,” Earnest said.

What Will Happen to Hastert?

Hastert has not been arrested and a spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Chicago told ABC News that is because he is not believed to be a flight risk. He is scheduled to make a court appearance at 10 a.m. on Thursday in US District Court in Chicago, according to Judge Thomas Durkin’s office.

ABC News' Jack Date, Josh Margolin, Mike Levine, Devin Dwyer, John Parkinson and Mary Bruce contributed to this report.

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