SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Continuing his advocacy for sexual assault survivors, state Rep. John Connor, D-Lockport, backed legislation that will take steps to ensure perpetrators of sexual assault face justice for their crimes by allowing survivors with warrants for their arrest for non-violent offenses to seek medical treatment and report incidents of assault to law enforcement without fear of prosecution.
“Survivors of sexual assault should never feel like they cannot come forward,” Connor said. “If we arrest someone who has gone through this terrible tragedy, it not only demonstrates a fundamental lack of compassion, it encourages survivors not to report their attack. Assaulters will remain on the streets and have a chance to repeat their behavior. We can’t let that happen.”
Connor helped pass House Bill 92, which 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.
“HB 92 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.”