Former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert was sentenced for a crime Wednesday, but the crime was the sentence itself. The Bible says “Your eye shall not pity: life shall be for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.” (Deut. 19:21.) This is about judgment for crimes committed. Hastert was sentenced for financial crimes, when the much larger toll was taken by his real transgression.
Living in silence for 36 years, “Individual D,” Scott Cross, had been molested by Hastert in his senior year in high school. When the truth of Hastert’s serial molestations as a high school wrestling coach threatened to become public, the former speaker paid $1.7 million in hush money to protect his reputation, which had already been soiled before God and man.
That got him a prison sentence, which his lawyers tried to have reduced to mere probation. Hastert even had the unmitigated gaul to ask Cross’ older brother to write a letter to the court supporting leniency.
His older brother, Tom Cross, 57, of Oswego, is the former longtime Illinois House GOP leader. Tom Cross has credited Hastert with introducing him to political life and helping him ascend to public office.
Hastert asked the former legislator earlier this year if he would write a letter of support for his sentencing, but Tom Cross by then was aware of his brother’s allegation and did not respond, according to sources.
The judge in the case saw the inadequacy of the sentence.
U.S. District Judge Thomas Durkin said, “The defendant was a serial child molester.” The sentence of 15 months, plus 2 years of supervised released, was beyond the up to six months in prison that was suggested in the plea agreement he reached with federal prosecutors last year.
Judge choking up now as he imagines parents wondering how they failed to protect their children from Hastert, let them go on trips, etc
— Jason Meisner (@jmetr22b) April 27, 2016
Cross was not the only victim. Not all the victims turned out okay. Sexual abuse is a life-altering, soul-shattering event for young adults and children.
Jolene: 'dear mom … ' reads A letter from her deceased brother.
— Christy Gutowski (@ChristyGutowsk1) April 27, 2016
The Bible also says this (words of Jesus):
“Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea.” (Matthew 18:6)
That would have been a fitting punishment for Hastert, but Jesus does offer forgiveness. It’s the court’s job to offer human justice. And justice was assuredly not done to Child Molester Dennis Hastert.
— Rex Huppke (@RexHuppke) April 27, 2016