The sexual abuse occurred when Hastert worked as a wrestling coach at a high school in Illinois. All of those who accused him of sexual abuse were wrestlers at the school. Prosecutors say the "known acts" consisted of "intentional touching of minors’ groin area and genitals or oral sex with a minor" (NY Times). They also stated that "the actions at the core of this case took place not on the defendant's national public stage but in his private one-on-one encounters in an empty locker room and a motel room with minors that violated the special trust between those young boys and their coach" (CNN).
Hastert's attorney stated that Hastert is "deeply sorry and apologizes for his misconduct that occurred decades ago and the resulting harm he caused to others...He will stand before the court having deteriorated both physically and emotionally, undoubtedly in part due to public shaming and humiliation of an unprecedented degree" (CNN). Since Hastert is in poor health, his attorneys have asked for a sentence of probation for his financial violation, but prosecutors are seeking for six months of prison time and also want him to be evaluated as a sex offender.
This case, as well as other recent sexual abuse cases in the past few years, has raised the debate over statute of limitations for child sexual abuse cases. There are statute of limitations for almost every crime, except crimes such as murder. Statute of limitations are designed to protect the defendant from outdated evidence, but others argue that for child sexual cases, it can take a long time for victims to grow up and realize what was committed against them.
Do you think the judge will consider the sexual abuse as a factor in the sentencing of the financial violation case, even though the statute of limitations are already up?
Do you think the current statute of limitations for sexual abuse is appropriate, or should it be either shortened or lengthened?