CHICAGO — A man who says Dennis Hastert sexually abused him decades ago told Illinois lawmakers the former U.S. House speaker was “a monster” who was protected by the statute of limitations and wasn’t appropriately punished.

Scott Cross made the comments Tuesday during a hearing with lawmakers considering legislation to remove the statute of limitations for child sexual abuse cases. Thirty-seven states already have no statute of limitations on those crimes.

Hastert was sentenced in April to 15 months in prison for violating banking laws while trying to silence one of four victims identified by prosecutors. But the statute of limitations prevented prosecutors from charging him with sex abuse.

Lawmakers have four similar proposals pending that would eliminate Illinois’ statute of limitations for sexually abusing children. No votes were taken Tuesday.