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2023.01.24 17:06

Lithuania strips ex-US House speaker of state award over child abuse

BNS 2023.01.24 17:06

On Tuesday, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda signed a decree stripping Dennis Hastert, a former speaker of the US House of Representatives, who has admitted to child molestation, of his Lithuanian state decoration.

Hastert was awarded the 1st Class Order of the Lithuanian Grand Duke Gediminas in 2001. He was also named an honorary citizen of Vilnius in the same year for his consistent support for Lithuania's NATO membership.

The City Council of Vilnius plans to consider stripping Hastert of the honorary citizen title in early February.

Nausėda signed the decree following the State Awards Council’s recommendation.

In 2016, Hastert was sentenced to 15 months in prison as part of a bank fraud case involving hush money to conceal his past sexual misconduct. The US speaker admitted to sexually abusing boys as a teacher and wrestling coach at Yorkville School in Illinois from the 1960s to the early 1980s before his congressional career began.

Hastert served as speaker of the House of Representatives between 1999-2007 and resigned amid suspicions that he had overlooked a scandal involving another former member of the House of Representatives, Mark Foley, who sent sexually explicit or ambiguous messages to teenagers.