Judge Rules Hastert Accuser's Lawsuit Can Continue With Fictitious Name | NBC Chicago
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Judge Rules Hastert Accuser's Lawsuit Can Continue With Fictitious Name

The lawsuit alleges "James Doe" was sexually abused by Hastert when he was 14 years old

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    The man at the center of sexual abuse allegations against Dennis Hastert can continue suing the former House Speaker for breach of contract under a "fictitious name," a judge ruled Thursday. Phil Rogers reports. (Published Thursday, April 28, 2016)

    The man at the center of sexual abuse allegations against Dennis Hastert can continue suing the former House Speaker for breach of contract under a "fictitious name," a judge ruled Thursday.

    Identified in court documents as "James Doe," the man, previously known only as "Individual A," is suing Hastert over claims he reneged on a deal to pay the young man millions of dollars in order to conceal sexual abuse.

    The day after Hastert was sentenced to 15 months in prison for breaking federal banking laws in the case, Judge Robert Pilmer ruled the accuser can continue with the suit as "James Doe," for now.

    The judge noted, however, that James Doe's attorney, Kristi Browne, must refile the complaint and include his actual name so he can determine if there is a conflict of interest. The document will remain sealed during that time, but the judge will later rule on whether or not he will keep the identity confidential. 

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    Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert was sentenced Wednesday to 15 months in prison for breaking federal banking rules in a hush-money scheme attempting to cover up decades of sexual abuse. Phil Rogers reports. (Published Thursday, April 28, 2016)

    The lawsuit alleges James Doe was sexually abused by Hastert in a motel room when he was 14 years old.

    "For many years to follow," the complaint states, "Plaintiff suffered severe panic attacks which lead to periods of unemployment, career changes, bouts of depression, hospitalization, and long-term psychiatric treatment." 

    The language of the complaint largely mirrors accusations from the federal charges, for which Hastert was sentenced on Wednesday.

    "In 2008," the lawsuit states, "Plaintiff was made aware for the first time that Hastert had abused someone else, too. Doe met with Hastert to confront him about what he had done." 

    At that point, he said, he asked the former congressman to pay him $3.5 million "for the trauma he suffered as a result of the admitted sexual molestation and abuse," an amount which he says Hastert agreed to pay. 

    As has been previously disclosed, Hastert's payments were interrupted when his banks became suspicious, after he had paid James Doe about $1.7 million dollars.

    Now James Doe says he is due the rest of the money, arguing that he and Hastert had a binding agreement.

    "Hastert breached the settlement agreement, when he failed to make the agreed payments," he said in his lawsuit, filed Monday in Kendall County. "Plaintiff never filed a personal injury action for the injuries caused by Hastert's illegal conduct, never took any other action to seek redress for those injuries and did not disclose his claims... until he was required to truthfully answer questions from law enforcement."

    The lawsuit seeks the $1.8 million dollars still owed from the apparently unwritten agreement, plus interest, and carries a demand for a jury trial.

    The next hearing for the suit is scheduled for July 25. 

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