SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Survivors of sexual assault who are wanted for non-violent, low-level offenses will be able to come forward without fear of law enforcement under new legislation backed by state Rep. Michelle Mussman, D-Schaumburg.
“If someone is sexually assaulted, they deserve to seek the medical attention and care needed without fear of being arrested for previous low-level crimes,” Mussman said. “This bill removes the threat that reporting the assault could lead to one’s own arrest. If there is a warrant out for that person, this bill puts the survivor’s right to get treatment first. In addition, this new measure will help law enforcement prosecute perpetrators of sexual assault and keep our communities safe.”
The Mussman-backed House Bill 92 protects sexual assault victims with arrest warrants for non-violent crimes by ensuring that they will not be taken into custody if they report the assault to law enforcement or medical professionals. Instead, law enforcement is required only to issue the victim a notice to appear in court. This exemption does not apply to victims who have a warrant for a violent crime or forcible felony.
“HB92 is a crucial step forward for victims reporting sexual assault,” said Carrie Ward, Executive Director of the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault. “Victims should not face the potential of being arrested as a result of reporting rape. This victim-centered legislation will help propel Illinois forward in its efforts to prosecute rapists and secure justice for rape survivors.