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Scott Bennett works to end statute of limitations

statute limitationsSPRINGFIELD- Illinois no longer would have time constraints on prosecuting alleged child sex offenders under legislation introduced by State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign).

The legislation was prompted by last week’s 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.

“We shouldn’t reward people who are lucky enough to not get caught,” Bennett said. “Often victims of abuse take some time to find the courage to address these horrific crimes. They should have the option when they are ready to confront their abuser.”

In court last week, Judge Thomas Durkin noted that Hastert avoided serious legal consequences because of current statute of limitations in Illinois’ state courts.

Statute of limitations restricts the time during which authorities can charge someone with a crime.

Bennett’s initiative would 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.

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.  

Senate Bill 3402 is scheduled to be heard by the Senate’s Criminal Law Committee on Wednesday, May 4 at 9 a.m. in Room 400 in the Capitol Building. 

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