SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – A measure passed by state Rep. Michelle Mussman, D-Schaumburg, which closes a loophole to allow police and prosecutors to charge child sexual predators at any time for their crimes was recently signed into law. This loophole allowed former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert to avoid prosecution for sex crimes he committed decades ago.
“When it was discovered that Dennis Hastert had committed his heinous crimes and then also tried to cover them up, it was even more tragic to realize that too much time had passed for him to not answer for what he did to those children he was entrusted with,” Mussman said. “This new law provides law enforcement the tools they need to put criminals who have harmed innocent children behind bars.”
Mussman is the chief sponsor of 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 new law allows law enforcement to bring charges at any time when survivors come forward or evidence is discovered.
Hastert pled guilty to illegal bank withdrawals and lying to federal law enforcement agents in 2016. The withdrawals were made to an individual as hush money payments to keep past sexual misconduct from going public, and because too much time had lapsed, Hastert could not be charged for his sex crimes.
“With the time constraints now lifted, sexual predators can be held accountable for their actions,” Mussman said. “Regardless of the amount of time that has passed, any offender needs to be brought to justice, most especially to make certain they are not loose in society and able to commit more assaults.”