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Crime & Courts

Dennis Hastert, James Doe case back in court next month

Motions filed to keep oral testimony confidential

The breach-of-contract case against former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert will continue next month after Hastert’s lawyer filed motions to keep oral testimony confidential.

A man named in the civil lawsuit as James Doe has accused Hastert of sexually abusing him while Hastert was a teacher at Yorkville High School. Hastert taught at the high school and coached wrestling between 1965 and 1981.

Hastert’s attorney, John Ellis, filed a motion Thursday to strike and for sanctions against Doe’s attorneys, saying Doe’s attorneys violated the confidentiality order by including depositions of six witnesses, including Hastert, in court filings. That comes after attorneys for Doe filed a motion to lift confidentiality designations and issued a subpoena, which Hastert’s attorneys are trying to quash, to third-party law firm Sidley Austin in response to Doe’s testimony.

According to court documents filed March 4, Doe said in his deposition that there was an oral agreement between him and Hastert for Doe to not tell anyone about Hastert sexually assaulting him in a motel room.

“I didn’t want this information out, or I didn’t want my children or my family exposed to any ramifications that might occur,” Doe said in his deposition, which was not dated.

Hastert allegedly paid Doe $1.7 million out of the agreed $3.5 million from summer 2010 through December 2014, court documents said. The arrangement ultimately led to federal banking charges against the Plano Republican.

Hastert served 13 months in federal prison on those banking charges. Federal Judge Thomas M. Durkin referred to Hastert as a “serial child molester” during the sentencing phase of the criminal trial. The statute of limitations for the sex abuse allegations has long passed.

Hastert said in his deposition that Doe was not supposed to disclose any allegations, agreement or “anything that was in that sphere.” He said Doe also wanted the $3.5 million to be given to him all at once.

“I told him I couldn’t pay ... $3.5 million,” Hastert said.

The disclosed depositions also include previously confidential witness testimony from Doe’s wife, brother and wife’s sister’s husband. Doe’s wife said in her deposition that she was aware that Hastert agreed to send $50,000 to Doe every six weeks until the full agreed-upon amount was paid.

Hastert served as a congressman from 1987 to 2007 and was U.S. House Speaker between 1999 and 2007.

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