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Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert Transferred Out Of Prison

Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert leaves the Dirksen Federal Court House in a wheelchair after his sentencing on April 27, 2016 in Chicago, Ill. Hastert was sentenced to 15 months in prison and ordered to pay $250,000 to a victim's fund for breaking banking laws; he had paid hush money to conceal his decades-old sexual abuse of a 14-year-old.

Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert, who is serving a 15-month prison sentence for hush money payments to cover up sex abuse, has been transferred to a Chicago facility in anticipation of an Aug. 16 release.

Hastert started his sentence at a Minnesota prison hospital last June. Now, records from the Federal Bureau of Prison indicate Hastert is currently at a "residential re-entry management field office" in Chicago. Hastert's transfer was reported by The Associated Press on Tuesday.

"It's unclear if he'll serve the remainder of his term on home confinement or at a local halfway house," the Chicago Tribune reports.

Hastert, 75, was the longest-serving Republican speaker of the House. He was a powerful lobbyist after he resigned from Congress — then authorities discovered he was working to conceal decades-old allegations of sex abuse of a child.

As Chris Arnold reported for NPR last year:

"The case against Hastert involved hush money he paid to cover up his sexual abuse of teenage boys in the 1960s and 70s when he was working as a wrestling coach at a high school about 50 miles west of Chicago.

"At his sentencing hearing in April, Hastert admitted molesting boys and said he was 'ashamed.' U.S. District Judge Thomas Durkin called Hastert a "serial child molester.'

Hastert could not be prosecuted for the sex abuse because the statute of limitations had run out. Instead, he was charged with financial crimes, as NPR's Dana Farrington explained:

"Hastert pleaded guilty in October [2015] to illegally structuring bank withdrawals to evade reporting rules for large transactions. That money was used to conceal alleged sexual misconduct — given to a man who says Hastert abused him when he was 14.

"The alleged victim, identified in court documents as "'Individual A,' is suing Hastert for not paying the full amount agreed upon between the two. He says Hastert paid $1.7 million out of $3.5 million in "compensation.' "

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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