Mike Krauser, Local Mom Of Fondling Victim Seeks Change In Sex Offender Law, CBS

Mike Krauser, Local Mom Of Fondling Victim Seeks Change In Sex Offender Law, CBS, http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2015/03/05/mom-of-fondling-victim-seeks-change-in-sex-offender-law/

CHICAGO (CBS) – Proposed legislation to close a loophole in the state’s sex offender laws serves as testament to the persistence of a Plainfield woman who would not take no for an answer.

Tina Estopare’s 15-year-old daughter had been molested by a neighbor in December 2011.

“What he did was fondled her, took her hand, and pleasured himself,” she said.

Prosecutors said the best they could get against her daughter’s molester was a misdemeanor battery conviction. Even the judge wondered aloud why it wasn’t a felony case.

“I squealed in court,” Estapore said.

Estopare has said charging her daughter’s abuser only with misdemeanor battery, there was no option to place him on the state’s sex offender database, because the current misdemeanor battery statute does not include a provision for sexually motivated battery.

The defendant served a few months in jail, and Estopare set off on a long journey to get Illinois law changed so someone convicted of a sexually motivated battery would have to register as a sex offender.

State Rep. Mark Batinick (R-Plainfield) has filed proposed legislation to allow judges to order defendants to register as sex offenders for 10 years if they are convicted of battery and the intent was sexual gratification.

Estapore said there is growing support for the proposal, dubbed “Stephanie’s Law.”

“Any person that’s a parent, and loves children, no one should say no to this law,” she said.

Prosecutors in DuPage, Kendall, and Will Counties have thrown their support behind the legislation, as have 225 Illinois school superintendents.

The legislation is in the early stages of consideration, awaiting its first committee hearing.