SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Police and prosecutors will be able to charge child sexual predators at any time under legislation passed by state Rep. Sue Scherer, D-Decatur. Senate Bill 189 closes a loophole that allowed disgraced former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert to avoid prosecution for sex crimes he committed decades ago.
“The traumatic experience of sexual assault and rape is something a victim will carry with them the rest of their life, especially a minor who is still developing physically and mentally,” said Scherer. “I care about protecting our children and am fighting to ensure justice on their behalf by doing away with limitations on prosecuting these horrific crimes.”
Scherer co-sponsored 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. Scherer’s efforts are necessary as survivors of rape and sexual abuse are often reluctant or unable to report the crime because they are afraid of a negative reaction from their parents or of being harmed by the abuser.
“Too many times, sexual offenders are able to escape accountability of their actions because enough time passes when the victims are scared to come forward,” Scherer said. “No one who commits the worst possible offenses against children should ever escape punishment.”
The measure received bipartisan support in the House and Senate, and now awaits the governor’s signature before becoming law.