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The [Thursday] Papers

"For months, federal authorities have hinted at the motive behind the hush-money payments former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert has admitted to making: the sexual abuse of a teenage boy when Hastert was still a suburban high school teacher and wrestling coach," the Tribune reports.

"But now, a Tribune investigation has uncovered new details of the case - at least four people have made what law enforcement sources say are credible allegations of sexual abuse against Hastert."

A dogged piece of reporting that was absolutely necessary - as I understand it, sexual abusers rarely have just one victim. Read the whole thing.


"The Tribune has determined the identities of three of them, all men, whose allegations stretch over a decade when they were teenagers and Hastert was their coach. One is dead. The Tribune has approached the other two - described in federal court records as Individuals A and D - and confirmed their roles in the case."

How did they do it? Shoe leather.

"Tribune reporters spent 10 months contacting scores of athletes and students coached and taught by Hastert. The Tribune approached some in person to ask about their time with Hastert. Several still live in the Fox Valley. Reporters sent follow-up letters and e-mails to many."

Reporting like this is not glamorous - it's a grind. It takes gumption. And in this case, a mix of strength and sensitivity.


Judge Thomas Durkin hasn't made it any easier.

"'If Individual D wants to come in and talk about being a victim of sexual abuse, he's entitled to do so because that informs my decision about the history and characteristics of the defendant,' Durkin said in a mostly empty courtroom, according to a transcript of the late March hearing obtained by the Tribune. 'It's that simple.'

"It was the second time in a week the judge had held a hearing in the case without any public disclosure in advance. The hearing became known only after Durkin posted an order announcing Hastert's sentencing date had been pushed back to accommodate Individual D's schedule, should he appear for the sentencing."

Emphasis mine. In a case involving hush money, the judge is holding hush hearings.


Hastert also isn't helping. The article's kicker:

"Hastert's attorneys, at least preliminarily, said they didn't plan to contest any facts alleged by Individual D, according to the transcript.

"With the sentencing hearing looming, a source said Hastert called one of Individual D's relatives, hoping to get a letter to show Hastert had done good things with his life; that letter could help persuade Durkin to give Hastert a more lenient sentence.

"Individual D then made a call of his own. He told federal authorities he would prepare a statement to be used in court detailing what Hastert did to him."

Again, go read the whole thing. I'll be here when you get back.


Plus 1:



Fans Excitedly Track Iron Maiden's Plane Landing At O'Hare.


Here's video - what a smooth landing.

Click through to YouTube for details on the craft.


East Dundee's Haeger Potteries Closing After 145 Years In Business.


See also: 'If You Grew Up In Dundee You Worked At Haeger Potteries.'


More Haeger.

From 2007:


From last summer:


Home Improvement TV Star Bob Vila Sues Illinois Man He Says Posed As His Agent.


A sampling.

The historic marquee didn't have Toyota's name on it.


The Beachwood Tip Line: Still the original.


Posted on April 7, 2016

MUSIC - Chief Keef Changed The Industry.
TV - Vizio's Best Product Is You.
POLITICS - UIC: Soda Taxes Work.
SPORTS - More McCaskey Malpractice.

BOOKS - All About Poop.


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