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Bertino-Tarrant moves to end statute of limitations on child sex abuse crimes

hastert 031317SPRINGFIELD— A plan that would end deadlines for when someone could be prosecuted for sexual abuse against a minor has been approved by a Senate committee. State Sen. Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) is the chief co-sponsor of the measure.

“There should not be a deadline on when victims can receive justice,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “Minors who are sexually abused deserve time to come forward and report the abuse. Children are vulnerable, scared, and often take years to have the courage to confront their abuser.”

Under the legislation, the statute of limitations would be removed if the victim is under 18 years of age for criminal sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual assault, predatory criminal sexual assault of a child, aggravated criminal sexual abuse and felony criminal sexual abuse.

Attorney General Lisa Madigan and Scott Cross, one of former U.S. Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert’s victims of sexual abuse, both testified in favor of the legislation at a recent committee hearing.

In Hastert’s high-profile case, he did not face charges for sexual abuse he admitted to because the statute of limitations for those offenses had expired.

Bertino-Tarrant previously pushed for Hastert’s public pensions to be taken away. Additionally, the senator sponsored legislation last year that would have removed legal deadlines for prosecuting sex abuse crimes against minors.

Senate Bill 189 has passed out of the Illinois Senate’s Criminal Law Committee. It will now have to be approved by the full Illinois Senate before moving to the Illinois House for consideration.

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