State Rep. Chuck Jefferson, D-Rockford, is introducing a bill to enhance legal action against the criminal sexual assault of minors.
“We have an obligation to do all we can to ensure that our children are protected,” Jefferson said. “For some survivors of sexual abuse, it may take many years for them to be able to come to terms with what happened and feel comfortable enough to alert the authorities. This measure will provide an opportunity for law enforcement to go after the criminals no matter how many years ago the incident occurred.”
Under the current law, prosecution for criminal sexual abuse of a minor may be commenced within one year of the victim turning 18 years old. Jefferson’s bill will remove the statute of limitations for aggravated or predatory sexual offenses, or criminal sexual abuse, in cases where the victim was younger than 18 at the time of the offense. Additionally, the bill allows for a 20-year window to prosecute the failure to report certain alleged or suspected sexual assault offenses against minors.
“This bill is about empowerment,” Jefferson said. “It will allow survivors the chance to speak up about a past crime, and possibly prevent an offender from committing further sexual abuse. Even if just one life is saved, then we will have made a difference.”
Jefferson’s House Bill 1063 (PDF) has bipartisan support, and will be considered for a committee vote next week.
For more information, contact Jefferson’s full-time constituent service office at (815) 987-7433.