ALTON, Ill. – To help provide justice for victims, state Rep. Dan Beiser, D-Alton, introduced a bill that would remove the statute of limitations against people who perpetrate sexual offenses against minors. This would give law enforcement and prosecutors better ability to investigate and prosecute a suspect who committed a sex crime against a victim under the age of 18.
“As a father and grandfather, one of my missions is to make sure that any person who hurts a child is brought to justice, no matter how much time has passed,” Beiser said. “We’ve seen crimes that were not discovered until decades later, putting the criminal well beyond the statute of limitations. Our laws should reflect that no matter the time, when a crime is committed of this nature, criminals should see their day in court.”
Beiser has filed House Bill 716, which would remove the current statute of limitations and then allow prosecution to start at any time. While the statute of limitations encourages diligence in starting a trial, many cases of abuse are not found until later or may require extra time given with special victims, which can then create a smaller window of time when the prosecution must start.
“Criminals, especially those that take advantage of our children, have been to escape justice by essentially running out the clock,” Beiser said. “No child’s voice should be silenced in this situation and this bill prevents a guilty person from escaping the consequences of their actions through a technicality.”