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Hastings ends statute of limitations for sexual assault cases on children

Sen. Michael E. HastingsTINLEY PARK- A major barrier to prosecute rape and sexual assault cases against children is the short period of time survivors have to confront their attackers.

State Senator Michael E. Hastings’ legislation, Senate Bill 189 that gives survivors of sexual abuse the ability to confront their attackers, was signed into law today.

“At times, survivors of abuse need time to discover the courage to address these horrific and awful crimes.” Hastings said. “This new law will put in place the best practices for dealing with sexual assault cases statewide and puts a system in place that will encourage survivors to come forward and receive justice when they are ready to do so.”

Most recently, Illinois’ statute of limitations child for sexual assault came to light during developments  involving former Republican U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert, who admitted in court that he sexually abused teenage boys when he was a wrestling coach in Yorkville.

“It’s important for government to evolve with the needs of the people,” Hastings said. “The time had come to change laws to reflect the needs of the people of Illinois.”

During Hastert’s trial, Judge Thomas Durkin noted that Hastert avoided serious legal consequences because of current statute of limitations in Illinois’ state courts.

Statutes of limitation restricts the time during which authorities can charge someone with a crime after it occurs.

Senate Bill 189 will remove the statute of limitations for felony criminal sexual abuse and sex crimes against children, which allows for the prosecution of these offenses at any time.

“This new law will help us protect our children,” Hastings said. “We are creating a system to give survivors of sexual assault the option and time to confront their abusers when they are ready.”

Under current law cases similar to the charges brought against Hastert, victims must report cases of abuse within 20 years after they have turned 18.  

This new law passed the Senate and House with bipartisan support. Senate Bill 189 goes into effect immediately.

Sen. Michael E. Hastings

hastings 150
19th Legislative District

Years served: 2012 - Present

Committee assignments: Appropriations I; Appropriations II; Financial Institutions; Insurance; Judiciary (Vice-Chairperson); State Government & Veterans Affairs; Committee of the Whole.

Biography: Born October 6th, 1980, in Orland Hills; B.S. in Leadership and Management, Civil Engineering from the United States Military Academy at West Point, M.S., Business Administration, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign; former US Army Captain; Bronze Star recipient; former trustee and vice president for High School District 230.