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Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert leaves prison

19 July 2017

Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert was released from federal prison on Monday, according to Federal Bureau of Prisons records.

It was not immediately clear whether Hastert would finish the remainder of his sentence in a halfway house or under house arrest.

Hastert served 13 of the 15 months in a Minnesota facility.

He is one of the highest-ranking US politicians to ever go to prison, where he was known as Inmate No. 47991-424.

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During his sentencing in a Chicago court past year, Hastert admitted for the first time that he had sexually abused boys when he taught wrestling at Yorkville High School in a Chicago-area suburb from the 1960s to the early 1980s. Records list his release date as August 16.

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He's being moved to the Residential Re-entry Management Field Office in Chicago.

Hastert could not be prosecuted for the sex abuse because the statute of limitations had run out.

Hastert's federal indictment was made public in May 2015, revealing the allegations of sexual assault. Individual A sued Hastert, seeking payment for the remaining $1.8 million he says Hastert still owes him. "They looked (up) at me and I took advantage of them".

Hastert pleaded guilty a year ago to violating money laundering laws in a case that shocked the country and Beltway insiders. "And we got quite a bit of information that ultimately resulted in one of the charges against him, which was lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation". He sat in a wheelchair during his sentencing and used a walker to deliver a statement.

Dennis Hastert is far from putting his child sex-abuse scandal in the past just because he's been released from a federal prison after serving a little over a year on a related banking conviction. Tribune reporters spent several months contacting scores of former wrestlers and students, filing two dozen open-records requests in an effort to undercover the truth. The former IL congressman served as House speaker from 1999-2007, the longest-serving occupant of the post second in line to the presidency.

Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert leaves prison