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Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan
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May 18, 2017


Attorney General Calls for Elimination of Criminal Statutes of Limitations for Felony Child Sexual Abuse and Assault Crimes

Chicago — Attorney General Lisa Madigan today applauded members of the Illinois House of Representatives for passing legislation to eliminate the statutes of limitations for felony criminal sexual assault and sexual abuse crimes against children.

Senate Bill 189, sponsored by Rep. Michelle Mussman, passed out of the Illinois House unanimously and will now be sent to the governor for final approval. The bill will eliminate Illinois’ statutes of limitations on child sex crimes that can allow child predators to go unpunished.

“Children who suffer sexual assault and abuse can spend their entire lives trying to recover and heal,” Madigan said. “There should be no limitation on the pursuit of justice for felony sex crimes committed against children. We must ensure survivors are able to come forward in their own time and receive the support they need and deserve.”

“This is an incredibly important measure to ensure that the survivors of child sexual abuse can report the crime when they are ready to do so, and it gives prosecutors the ability to seek justice,” Mussman said. “I would like to thank the Attorney General for her advocacy on behalf of the survivors of these unimaginable crimes.”

As more child survivors of abuse and sexual assault have come forward to describe the difficult process that they have endured in reporting, states across the country have eliminated statutes of limitations for these crimes. Nationwide, 36 other states and the federal government have removed criminal statutes of limitations for some or all sexual offenses against children.

Currently no statutes of limitations exist in Illinois for murder, involuntary manslaughter, reckless homicide, arson, treason, forgery or the production of child pornography. Under current state law, the most egregious sexual offenses against children must be reported and prosecuted within 20 years of the survivor turning 18 years old. Two exceptions include cases in which the crimes were committed on or after Jan. 1, 2014 and either corroborating physical evidence exists or a mandated reporter failed to report the abuse. SB 189 would eliminate statues of limitations for all felony child sexual abuse and sexual assault crimes.


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