Sexual assault survivors will no longer need to worry about getting justice due to statute of limitations issues when a new law goes into effect.
House Bill 2135, which Governor JB Pritzker signed late last month, removes the statute of limitations on criminal sex crimes in Illinois. Crimes on that list include:
- Criminal Sexual Assault
- Aggravated Criminal Sexual Assault
- Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse
As it’s laid out in the new law, prosecutors can bring criminal sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual assault or aggravated criminal sexual abuse charges against an alleged perpetrator at any time after the incident. Under the previous law, victims had 10 years to report the incident in order for prosecutors to be able to legally bring charges against the perp.
Many Approve Of The New Law
Although the new law doesn’t become official until January 1 of 2020, many are already championing the change as a step in the right direction for sexual assault survivors.
“Justice shouldn’t have any limitations on when it’s served,” said Anna Hughes, the lead medical legal advocate for rape crisis at The Women’s Center in Carbondale.
Carbondale Police Department Investigative Detective Sergeat Kevin Geissler echoed those senitments, saying the new law will also make it easier for his department and other law enforcement officials to move forward with sex crime charges.
“It makes things a lot easier for us, the police, the prosecutors as well to know they can prosecute a case like this at any time,” said Geissler.
However, it’s currently unclear if the new law means that old cases that would not meet the current statute of limitations would be eligible for prosecution, or if it only applies to cases going forward. Either way, it’s a big win for sexual assault survivors.
If you’re a sexual assault survivor, we have connections in the community to get your the emotional and mental health care that you need to move forward with your life. We’ve also worked closely with individuals who have been falsely accused of sexual assault and can help get them the justice they deserve. If you have questions or concerns in the Naperville area, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our firm at (630) 717-7801.