By Caryn Rousseau and Michael Tarm….
Disgraced former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert is far from putting his child-sex-abuse scandal behind him after being released from federal prison in Minnesota where he served a little over a year for a related banking conviction. He now must undergo intensive court-ordered sex-offender treatment designed to ensure he never again poses a risk to children.
The Federal Bureau of Prisons confirmed Tuesday that Hastert was released the day before and transferred to a Chicago re-entry facility. It wasn’t clear whether Hastert was in a halfway house or under home confinement. His attorneys declined to comment, and the Federal Bureau of Prisons said in an email only that he is now “under the jurisdiction” of the Chicago re-entry management office.
The Illinois Republican was sentenced to 15 months in prison in April 2016 in a banking violations case that revealed he had sexually abused teenagers while coaching wrestling at a suburban Chicago high school. He was also given a two-year term of supervised release after has was out from behind bars.
The treatment Hastert faces is likely to include a lie-detector test to determine how many times the 75-year-old Illinois Republican sexually abused kids.
Another common treatment for sex offenders involves a penile plethysmograph, which gauges a known molester’s physical reaction to specific images, according to former federal agents who dealt with child abuse cases.
Hastert could potentially put himself in legal jeopardy if he refuses any of the tests or doesn’t appear to be forthcoming about any instances of abuse, said Francey Hakes, a former special assistant to the U.S. attorney general overseeing Justice Department child-exploitation units.
If he doesn’t cooperate fully, a judge could send him back to prison; but if he admits to other cases, that could open new investigations, she said.
“It is a Catch-22 of sex offender treatment,” she said in a telephone interview.