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Dennis Hastert acknowledges 'transgressions,' apologizes: Lawyer

Washington: Former speaker of the House Dennis Hastert has admitted that "as a young man he committed transgressions," Hastert's lawyer said, adding that he has also apologized for his transgressions. Hastert's lawyer made the statement just a day after federal prosecutors revealed that Hastert sexually abused young boys decades ago.

The 26-page filing said that Hastert sexually assaulted four minors when he was a high school wrestling coach in Illinois in the late 1960s and 1970s. The filing added that the former speaker also tried to lie about it when confronted by the FBI.

"Mr. Hastert acknowledges that as a young man he committed transgressions for which he is profoundly sorry. He earnestly apologizes to his former students, family, friends, previous constituents and all others affected by the harm his actions have caused," Hastert attorney Thomas Green said in a statement released today.

"As stated in our sentencing memorandum, we note that for the last four decades he has made every effort to be a positive force in the lives of others," Green said. "We also advised the Court that the profound humiliation and public shaming Mr. Hastert has and will continue to experience, coupled with the resulting isolation and abandonment he has endured, are already significant punishment and have undoubtedly contributed to his fragile medical condition. He accepts responsibility for his conduct, seeks no special consideration, and is prepared to receive the Court's sentence."

Federal prosecutors on Friday also accused Hastert of "stunning hypocrisy," noting that he built a strong foundation for his political career by riding on his work as a teacher, coach and mentor to his students.

Of his alleged victims, the prosecutors wrote that Hastert "made them feel alone, ashamed, guilty and devoid of dignity. While defendant achieved great success, reaping all the benefits that went with it, these boys struggled, and all are still struggling now with what defendant did to them."