STILLWATER, Okla., May 3 (UPI) — The National Wrestling Hall of Fame has voted to revoke all honors, including its highest award, once bestowed on recently sentenced former House Speaker Dennis Hastert.
The National Wrestling Hall of Fame’s Board of Governors unanimously voted to revoke all honors Hastert previously received. The former Illinois representative was inducted into the hall in 2003.
“In the 40 years since it was founded, the National Wrestling Hall of Fame has never had to remove an individual who had received one of its highest awards,” Executive Director Lee Roy Smith said in a statement released Monday.
“When the NWHOF learned of the charges against Dennis Hastert, the ethics committee decided that the United States court system should determine the veracity of the charges. The NWHOF wanted to ensure that Mr. Hastert received due process and his day in court before a course of action was recommended to the Board of Governors.”
Hastert was sentenced last week to 15 months in prison on charges of fraud and lying to federal agents in a case related to alleged sexual abuse.
Hastert is accused of sexually abusing four boys between the ages of 14 and 17 when he worked as a teacher and wrestling coach at Yorkville High School in the small town of Yorkville, Ill., west of Chicago, between 1965 and 1981.
The former Republican Party leader pleaded guilty in October to bank fraud for “structuring” withdrawals from his bank account to evade mandatory reporting requirements for any transaction $10,000 or above.
Although Hastert previously did not admit to sexually abusing the boys, when a judge directly asked if he sexually abused the victims, Hastert’s reply was “Yes.”