Schaumburg, Ill. – State Rep. Michelle Mussman, D-Schaumburg, is co-sponsoring legislation that would hold individuals involved in the human trafficking of minors accountable for their appalling criminal, and sometimes violent, acts against children.
“Victims of human trafficking, especially children, may have a tough time coming forward against their abuser and reporting a crime to authorities due to the traumatic circumstances of the crime,” said Mussman. “Unfortunately, under current law, victims may be turned away for not bringing charges quickly enough. This lapse in justice allows for perpetrators to seek out new victims while current victims are left powerless.”
Currently, victims of human trafficking under the age of 18 have only one year after their 18th birthday to press charges against their offender(s). But under House Bill 3629, victims would have up to 25 years after their 18th birthday to press charges against the offender. This bill also establishes child sex crimes as a Class X felony, which carries a minimum sentence of 25 years in prison.
“It’s time for Illinois to step up and do the right thing by holding child traffickers accountable for their actions,” Mussman said. “Victims of such heinous crimes should have the maximum opportunity to seek justice in a court of law. Standing up for the victims of child sex crimes is something that should transcend party lines, and I urge all of my colleagues to put politics aside and do what’s right for the children of Illinois.”
Mussman serves the 56th District, which includes portions of Schaumburg, Hoffman Estates, Elk Grove Village, Hanover Park, Roselle, Rolling Meadows, and Palatine.