Days before they were set to go to trial, lawyers in a 2016 hush-money lawsuit against former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert involving decades-old sexual abuse agreed Wednesday to settle the case.
The terms of the agreement will be confidential, attorneys said.
A Kendall County judge ruled last week that the man who sued Hastert, seeking the unpaid balance of an alleged $3.5 million pact, would be named publicly at the civil trial. The man had filed the breach-of-contract lawsuit under the pseudonym James Doe in April 2016.
The plaintiff’s attorney, Kristi Browne, declined to say whether the judge’s decision was a factor in his decision to settle.
While the agreement settles the litigation, she said, her client will suffer from what happened to him as a child for years to come.
“It’s never over for a victim of child sexual abuse,” Browne said. “It impacts them the rest of their lives.”
Jury selection had been scheduled to begin Monday in a Yorkville courtroom.
Attorney John Ellis, who represents Hastert, declined comment.
Hastert was a Yorkville High School teacher and state champion wrestling coach before entering politics in the early 1980s. He rose to become the longest-serving Republican House speaker in U.S. history.
The plaintiff in the suit was a former Yorkville standout student-athlete who alleged Hastert sexually abused him one night at an out-of-state wrestling camp in the 1970s. The student was 14 at the time.