22 HOURS AGO • THE SOUTHERN
The current law requires prosecution for criminal sexual abuse of a minor must begin within one year of the victim turning 18 years old.
The Bradley backed House Bill 1063 removes the statute of limitations for aggravated or predatory sexual offenses, or criminal sexual abuse where the victim was under 18 at the time. The bill also allows for a 20 year window to prosecute the failure to report certain alleged or suspect sexual assaults against minors.
“We have no greater respsonsibility as a state than protecting our children from harm,” Bradley said. “As survivors of sexual abuse can often take years to come to grips with what occurred and build up the courage to alert authorities, eliminating the statute of limitations for aggravated, predatory or criminal sexual abuse of minors provides victims an avenue towards justice and the potential to stop a sexual predator from harming others.”
“Children who have been victimized by sexual violence experience unimaginable trauma,” said Lyn Schollett, general counsel for the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault. “Sex offenders often prevent child victims from reporting the crime by blaming or threatening the child. This bill will ensure that when a survivor of childhood sexual abuse is safe enough to report the crime, prosecutors can stand ready to charge the offender.”
The legislation passed through the House of Representatives unanimously and awaits consideration in the Senate.