SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Legislation supported by state Rep. Maurice West II, D-Rockford, to remove the statute of limitations for cases involving criminal sexual assault of an adult passed the House Friday and now moves to the Senate for consideration.
“Survivors of assault deserve to receive justice, regardless of when law enforcement is able to track down the abuser,” West said. “Survivors have to live with the trauma of an assault for the rest of their lives, and there is no reason why a criminal should be able to avoid prosecution because a few years have passed.”
West is a cosponsor of House Bill 2135, which removes the statute of limitations for criminal sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual assault and aggravated criminal sexual abuse of adults. It allows for prosecution of these offenses to take place at any time. Under current law, prosecution must take place within three to 10 years, depending on when the survivor reported the offense to law enforcement. Current law allows for the prosecution of sexual assault crimes at any time if the survivor was under the age of 18.
“We have to prioritize the health and well-being of survivors of assault,” West said. “Not only does this include ensuring that they have resources available to assist with their mental and physical health, we have to stop offenders from hurting more people.”