Forget the bullsh!t of Trump and Clinton. Forget terrorism and the economy for a bit. Here is the feel-good story of the day! A federal judge, Thomas M. Durkin, took a rare opportunity to use his office and power for the good of the free and formerly oppressed people. God bless the man.
CHICAGO (AP) — Dennis Hastert, the Republican who for eight years presided over the House and was second in the line of succession to the presidency, was sentenced Wednesday to more than a year in prison in the hush-money case that included accusations he sexually abused teenagers while coaching high school wrestling.
Judge Thomas M. Durkin also ordered Hastert to undergo sex-offender treatment, spend two years on supervised release after 15 months behind bars and pay a $250,000 fine to a crime victims’ fund.
In explaining his punishment, the judge called Hastert a “serial child molester” and described as “unconscionable” his attempt to accuse one of the victims of extortion.
Hastert becomes one of the highest-ranking politicians in American history to be sentenced to prison. He pleaded guilty last fall to violating banking law as he sought to pay $3.5 million to someone referred to in court papers only as Individual A to keep the sex abuse secret.
Earlier in the hearing, a former athlete who said he was molested by Hastert decades ago told the courtroom that he was “devastated” by the abuse.
- Michael Tarm, FORMER HOUSE SPEAKER SENTENCED TO MORE THAN A YEAR IN PRISON, Associated Press, April 27, 2016.
This sentence is vindication for Hastert’s real and long-suffering victims, the young men he molested. Fifteen months do not seen nearly enough for child molestation but, under these circumstances, it is as stiff a sentence as possible (no, I did not run numbers through the federal guidelines – going gut and by experience).
Hastert plead guilty to banking irregularities and was sentenced under the laws he once rammed through Congress. Judge Durkin though concentrated his discretionary authority on the underlying (underlying but all but admitted) crimes against the then children Denny molested. His insistence on rehabilitation and restitution are huge. They perhaps could serve as the basis for an appeal under the theory Durkin exceeded the scope of his proceedings. However, because Denny entered a plea the odds of a successful appeal are slim. My guess is that the demented scofflaw will slink or roll, rather (see picture), into the nearest minimum security prison camp (country club prison). If his medical claims are true he may be placed near or in a federal MCC for the duration of his sentence.
AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast.
The media seems shocked that such a formerly high-ranking official is bound for prison. I am shocked by the manner in which he is going – labeled as a “serial child molester” rather than as a bank defrauder. Like I say, every once in a while a little justice leaks out of the system. For nearly a year I dreaded this was going to be another case about money and power. Thomas Durkin managed to uphold the letter of the positive law and, more importantly, the spirit of the Natural Law. Hooray!