A measure supported by State Rep. Sara Feigenholtz (D- Chicago) to prevent child sex offenders from escaping prosecution passed the House last week.
House Bill 1063 removes the statute of limitation on certain child sex crimes, including criminal sexual assault and abuse, if the victim was under the age of 18 at the time of the crime. This gives law enforcement the opportunity to prosecute these crimes even when the victims come forward years after the crime was committed.
“Child victims are frequently more hesitant to come forward and speak out against their abusers, either because they are scared, confused, or the perpetrator is someone they know,” said Feigenholtz. “This bill allows victims to seek justice and keeps dangerous child sex offenders from getting away from their crimes.”
The current law requires most prosecutions to begin within 3 years of the crime for felony offenses and within 1.5 years of the crime for misdemeanor offenses. The law already allows for extensions under certain circumstance for some child sex crimes.