The Associated Press writes that a federal Judge in Chicago has ordered that former House Speaker Dennis Hastert must never be left alone with anyone under 18 unless another adult is present who is aware of his conviction in a “hush-money case that revealed he had sexually abused several high school students.”
The AP went on to note that any adult who Hastert may ask to be present around minors must first be approved by a probation officer and the individual providing treatment to Hastert, according to the Judge’s order. The former House Speaker was also banned from possession of pornography and the use of sex lines.
NBC recounted the Judge’s statement, which read in part: “[Hastert] shall not possess or have under his/her control any pornographic, sexually oriented, or sexually stimulating materials, including visual, auditory, telephonic, or electronic media, computer programs, or services… You shall not have contact with any person under the age of 18, except in the presence of a responsible adult who is aware of the nature of his/her background and current offense, and who has been approved by the probation officer and treatment provider.”
Hastert was one of a number of individuals named by Greg Bucceroni in Disobedient Media’s recent coverage of a child sex trafficking network based on the East Coast that was active in the 1970’s and 1980’s, according to government documents.
Bucceroni told Disobedient Media about a specific incident in which Hastert was present among child sex traffickers and abusers at an after-party which took place after a fundraising event for Ronald Reagan. Bucceroni stated: “Eddy Savitz gave me $40, for Denny. That was the interaction with Denny, who was Dennis Hastert. He was mingling with known adult sex traffickers, inside this after-party in Washington DC.” Bucceroni also told Disobedient Media that Dennis Hastert was ‘hanging out with Eddy Savitz and Lawrence King.’
The latest news regarding added restriction of Hastert’s contact with children followed Disobedient Media’s recent report on Greg Bucceroni’s testimony that included allegations regarding Hastert and other prominent figures. Bucceroni’s allegations are especially relevant amidst the ongoing fallout from the Harvey Weinstein scandal, which also suggests that sexual abuse by powerful individuals is an unfortunately long-term and bipartisan issue.
Bucceroni has made numerous press appearances since initially coming forward in 2011 and spoke to independent journalist HA Goodman about his experiences of abuse since Disobedient Media’s report was published. During his conversation with Goodman, Bucceroni discussed abuses including Hastert’s alleged presence at events where child sex trafficking occurred.
Dennis Hastert was characterized as a serial child molester by Judge Thomas M. Durkin of Federal District Court. Hastert was eventually convicted of attempting to “illegally structuring bank transactions in an effort to cover up his sexual abuse of young members of a wrestling team,” according to the New York Times. Hastert was sentenced to only 15 months in prison, but served just 13 months.
RT noted that Hastert Hastert was the longest-serving Republican House speaker, having occupied the position from 1999-2007 before he was jailed in 2016 after his conviction of trying to cover up a $3.5 million pay-off to one of five boys he molested when he was a high school teacher in Illinois. The Washington Post related that the indictment against Hastert indicated he had paid $1.7 million from 2010 to 2014 to one of his victims.
Despite the conviction and his public admission of sexually abusing children, a surprising number of prominent figures petitioned for leniency during Hastert’s sentencing process. Disobedient Media previously noted that these calls for a lessened sentence on behalf of a “serial child molester” fueled concerns regarding tolerance of sexual abuse within government bodies.
The issue of sexual abuse by powerful men has come into particular public focus of late in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, which has led to the downfall of individuals ranging from Kevin Spacey to Bryan Singer.
According to the Associated Press, U.S. District Judge Thomas M. Durkin did not explicitly state the reasoning behind the latest provision regarding Hastert’s interaction with minors. The news raises important questions as to why such stipulations were not put into place sooner.