SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Rep. Laura Fine, D-Glenview, recently helped pass legislation that would allow police and prosecutors to charge child sexual predators at any time, closing a loophole that allowed disgraced former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert to avoid prosecution for sex crimes he committed decades ago.
“Sadly, we hear stories on the news on a regular basis about children who were sexually abused and came forward decades after the sex crime occurred,” Fine said. “Elected officials have a responsibility to make sure that justice is carried out and these criminals are prosecuted for their crimes.”
Fine is sponsoring Senate Bill 189, which removes the statute of limitations on various sex crimes against children including sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual assault, and predatory criminal sexual assault. The measure would allow law enforcement to bring charges at any time when survivors come forward or evidence is discovered.
Fine’s efforts are necessary as survivors of rape and sexual abuse are often reluctant or unable to report the crime. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, nine out of 10 child sexual abuse victims are abused by someone close to them, and may be hesitant to report them. Children avoid talking about it because they are either afraid of a negative reaction from their parents or of being harmed by the abuser. This causes them to often delay disclosure of sexual abuse until adulthood.
“Victims of sexual assault can often take a long time to process the traumatic event and an even longer time to come forward. We need our laws to reflect this reality.” Fine said. “Eliminating the statute of limitations for sex crimes against children ensures that the perpetrators of these crimes are held accountable for their actions.”
Visit Rep Fine’s website
255-S Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 524-0449 FAX
1812 Waukegan Road
Glenview, IL 60025
(847) 998-1707 FAX