In the civil suit against the disgraced former speaker of the US House of Representatives Dennis Hastert, an agreement was reached on Wednesday that provisionally put an end to the year-long hush-money case just a few days before the planned trial.
Judge Robert Pilmer, presiding judge for the 23rd Judicial District of Illinois, which includes Kendall County, where the lawsuit was filed, announced Wednesday afternoon that the parties had reached a preliminary settlement after attorneys on both sides showed more than an hour ago the scheduled date were held court proceedings.
“We have agreed in principle, the terms of the agreement are confidential,” said plaintiff’s attorney Kristi Browne after the settlement was announced, adding: “It just depends on us working out a written settlement agreement.”
“I can tell you that all claims between the parties are resolved subject to execution of the settlement agreement,” she said.
Hastert’s attorney, John Ellis, declined to comment.
“I would have loved to try this case, I think it was a good case,” said Browne. “I was very confident about our case from the start, but you know this is what we did and this is a solution my client is happy with.”
The settlement came less than a week after the judge ruled that the plaintiff, referred to only as James Doe in court records, would be identified in court for the first time after the trial began. The selection of the jury should begin on September 20th.
Haster, 79, approx. 85% served a 15-month prison sentence Delivered in 2016 after pleading guilty to a crime of financial crime known as structuring: disguising banking activities by withdrawing large amounts of cash in small denominations to circumvent federal reporting requirements.
Prosecutors said Hastert broke federal banking rules by covering up his $ 1.7 million withdrawals to pay hush money to a former student he made while teaching and wrestling in the 1970s. Sexually abused a coach at Yorkville High School prior to entering politics.
That person filed a breach of contract lawsuit against Hastert in 2016, demanding the unpaid balance of the total of $ 3.5 million in hush money, approximately $ 1.8 million.
Hastert was not charged in connection with the allegations of sexual abuse in part because of the Illinois statute of limitations – within three years of the incident or three years after a minor victim reached the age of 18 – had already expired.
When asked if the judge’s decision to appoint Doe had any impact on the settlement negotiations, Browne said she was unable to disclose communications with her client. But she later said that the deal came as “a bit” of a surprise to her.
“Anything can happen anytime, cases can be settled, but I would have said a few weeks ago that I was pretty sure this case was on trial,” she said.
“Let me say this: It is never over for a victim of childhood sexual abuse. It’s never over It affects her for the rest of her life, ”said Browne. “This solves this case. This solves my client’s claims against Mr. Hastert. It resolves Mr. Hastert’s counterclaim against my client and any litigation issues between them. “