Hastert Pleads Not Guilty

Former House speaker arrives in court
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 9, 2015 2:29 PM CDT
Hastert Pleads Not Guilty
Dennis Hastert arrives at the federal courthouse Tuesday in Chicago for his arraignment.   (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)

Dennis Hastert has finally made a public statement about the allegations against him: not guilty. The former House speaker made the plea today at a federal courthouse in Chicago, reports the Chicago Tribune. Hastert, who is accused of making illegal cash withdrawals from his bank accounts, has largely been in seclusion since the news broke, notes Politico. He reportedly was paying hush money to cover up allegations that he molested a male high school student decades ago. (This woman says her late brother was molested, too.)

Hastert, 73, didn't address reporters' shouted questions as Homeland Security officers escorted him into the courthouse. The New York Times gets into detail: "After making his way through the building’s revolving doors, Mr. Hastert walked slowly, his body slightly hunched, toward the metal detector. A courthouse security officer used a wand on him after the metal detector sounded when he walked through." He was later released on a $4,500 bond, reports the Washington Post. Hastert faces up to 5 years in prison and $250,000 in fines on each of the two felony counts against him. (He's got a high-profile lawyer, however.)

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