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Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert Reaches Tentative Settlement Over Payments To Man Who Accuses Him Of Abuse

YORKVILLE, Ill. (CBS) -- Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert has reached a tentative settlement over payments to a man who accused him of child sexual abuse.

The man, referred to only as James Doe in filings, brought the breach-of-contract lawsuit in 2016 in a bid to force Hastert to pay the unpaid balance of the hush money, nearly $2 million. Hastert's lawyers said the 2010 deal was void after Doe spoke about it to others.

A Kendall County judge ruled last week that the defendant would be named in court if the case went to trial this month.

The man says Hastert sexually abused him when he was a student athlete and Hastert was a wrestling coach at a high school in Yorkville in the 1970s.

Hastert has denied having any sexual contact with his accuser, saying he was treating him for a groin injury.

The roughly $1.5 million Hastert did pay over four years in $50,000 cash installments prompted a criminal investigation in 2014. Hastert's methods for structuring the cash withdrawals so they wouldn't be flagged tipped off the FBI, initiating the probe and eventually making his abuse of Doe and others public.

Hastert stopped making payments after FBI agents questioned him.

Hastert pleaded guilty in 2015 to breaking banking laws and a year later was given a 15-month prison sentence. At sentencing, U.S. District Judge Thomas M. Durkin called Hastert a "serial molester" for abusing teenagers when he worked as a wrestling coach.

(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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