Letters: Hastert's double life: Power broker, molester

ISSUE | CHILD ABUSE

Hastert's double life: Power broker, molester

The admission of sexual abuse by former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert is shocking ("Hastert gets prison in hush-money case," Thursday). The fact that the victims were teenagers under his tutelage as wrestling coach makes it reprehensible. To imagine that, from 1999 to 2007, he was second inthe line of succession for the presidency is a matter of national shame and disgrace.

The belated 15-month prison sentence may come as a relief to the victims, but nothing can erase the trauma they have endured, which, unfortunately, will remain a lifelong psychological ordeal.

In addition to the prison sentence and $250,000 fine, he should lose his government pension and benefits for dishonoring Congress and misleading the people who elected him. Above all, he breached the trust of innocent youths with impunity for years.

|Atul M. Karnik, Woodside, N.Y.