Jefferson moves bill to protect survivors of sexual crimes to house floor

Online Staff Report

March 13, state Rep. Chuck Jefferson, D-Rockford, passed his bill out of the House of Representatives with bipartisan support that extends the statute of limitations on the prosecution of criminal sexual assault of minors.

This measure will empower survivors of sexual abuse to speak up about crimes that they were not able or comfortable enough to alert the authorities about from the past,” Jefferson said. “By providing law enforcement the opportunity to go after the criminals no matter how many years ago the incident occurred, we are possibly preventing future crimes and empowering survivors.”

House Bill 1063 removes the statute of limitations for major sex crimes when the victim was younger than 18 at the time of the offense. The Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault joined Jefferson March 13 during the vote to show support for his initiative.

We are committed to ending the suffering of sexual assault victims and holding sex offenders accountable for their crimes,” Lyn Schollett, of the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault, said. “Children who have been victimized by sexual violence experience unimaginable trauma. 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.”

For more details, contact Jefferson’s full-time constituent service office at (815) 987-7433.

Posted March 15, 2013

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