Ex-House Speaker Dennis Hastert starts prison term

Hastert, 74, reported to the Rochester Federal Medical Center in Minnesota on Wednesday - arriving in a wheelchair and followed by an acquaintance carrying his crutches. He'll be identified by his inmate number - 47991-424.

Dennis Hastert, the once-powerful Republican lawmaker, reported to federal prison today to begin serving a 15-month sentence.

"[As part of a deal with federal prosecutors, ] Hastert pleaded guilty in October to illegally structuring bank withdrawals to evade reporting rules for large transactions".

U.S. District Judge Thomas Durkin sentenced Hastert, 74, to 15 months in prison, but the time could be reduced for good behavior.

Hastert has not been charged with or convicted of sex abuse due to the statute of limitations, but at his sentencing hearing in April, he admitted to sexual abuse of boys when he was a high school teacher and coach in his hometown of Yorkville, Illinois.

Durkin said he would have given him a longer sentence if it had not been for Hastert's age and poor health.

Hastert's life will be highly regimented inside the prison, from frequent head counts to shakedown searches, the Associated Press reports.

Court filings detailed the abuse allegations, describing how Hastert would also sit in a recliner in the locker room with a direct view of the showers. The victims were 14 to 17 years old. He says Hastert paid $1.7 million out of $3.5 million in 'compensation'. Turning to Hastert in court, she described how she was among the first to broach his abuse of kids, telling him, "I hope I have been your worst nightmare".

Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert was accompanied by one person as he wheeled himself into a Minnesota prison to start serving a sentence for his hush-money case.

In addition to his prison sentence, Hastert has paid a $250,000 fine and will be under two years of supervised release after his incarceration.

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