Saturday, February 16, 2013

IL - State Rep. Jefferson moves to strengthen laws against sex offenders

Original Article


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.

1 comment :

Loneranger said...

wow what a can of worms. Lets see how this can play out. A ex governor of Oregon had sex with a 14 year old when he was Mayor of Portland early on in his career. He paid her off so as not to be prosecuted. Went on to be Governor of the state. Statute of limitations ran and then he sighed the law into effect to create the sex offender registry. So under this scenario he would have been prosecuted at some point i'm sure. Fact is they tried this very same thing in Oregon but it didn't go to far. they have statutes of limitations for a reason. One is evidence becomes lost and memories of events become uncertain making prosecution difficult.

Given 20 years is a very long time one has to wonder how this might play out in a court of law if there isn't any hard evidence. but lets continue with the thought someone could report someone 20 years later. Did you have a girlfriend that was under 18 back in the day? Maybe your a teacher now or possibly an elected official like our ex-Governor and your ex-girlfriend that you had sex with even though she was underage decides this is an opportunity. Well just her reporting this even though they can't prove it or would be hard your life is over. Remember we can't change the past. So this would surely empower the victims. Is this a good thing? Well depends on what side of the fence your on. I guess. However when you open a can of worms like this you just never know how it might be used. Given 90 percent of sex crimes are not reported one would think there are many elected officials, teachers, police officers and the list goes on that probably fall into this. Remember we all grew up and not all of us followed the age laws. However denial runs deep and I would guess most have skeletons in their closets that they would really like to be left in there. The idea that if it saves just one person might not be enough to justify opening up such a window of opportunity for the ones that would use this to their own advantage.

I know it's all about the victims and really we should think about them. However when it comes to a victim and an offender they are two sides of the same coin. I should think that given we don't know what skeletons lurk about in the closets of our populous and the damage this could cause some 20 years later after the alleged sexual crime they might think before enacting such a law. However elected officials seldom think about things like that. So when it comes back to bite them or one of their trusted friends or relatives I hope they still think this is a great idea.

As far as what I think about this. Well there are so many hypocrites that make laws to ensnare sex offenders. just like the ex-governor of Oregon. Maybe it's a good thing as when some of these people get exposed we might just start looking at the entire picture instead of the one that politicians paint. I know this is only one state suggesting this but it could go on to set some kind of precedence for other states and the giant can of worms grows. Well given this will effect the age group born in 1975 and forward unless it is not retro active. You might see many job vacancies, divorces, as well as home foreclosures for this group of people. Humm how many children will this effect in the long run.

The sex offender registry has destroyed the lives of hundreds of thousands of children over the last 20 years all to save that one. Leaving them in poverty due to parents that can't rise above this. Leaving them short of opportunities in their lives that only increase crime in the long run. How is saving one unidentified child worth destroying so many in the wake.

So lets see them take this to the limit one more time. The end result might just be a little satisfaction when these hypocrites get exposed and hung by their own well meaning laws.