Illinois bill to remove statute of limitations on adult sexual abuse cases advances

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WIFR) -- An Illinois bill intended to remove the statute of limitations for cases involving criminal sexual assault and abuse of adults passed House vote on Friday.

HB 2135​ is co-sponsored by Rep. Maurice West II (D-Rockford). The bill allows for prosecution of these offenses to take place at any time.

“Survivors of assault deserve to receive justice, regardless of when law enforcement is able to track down the abuser,” West said. “Survivors have to live with the trauma of an assault for the rest of their lives, and there is no reason why a criminal should be able to avoid prosecution because a few years have passed.”

Under current law, prosecution is required take place within three to 10 years after abuse is reported. The current law only allows for the prosecution of sexual assault crimes any time if the survivor is under 18 years old.

“We have to prioritize the health and well-being of survivors of assault,” West said. “Not only does this include ensuring that they have resources available to assist with their mental and physical health, we have to stop offenders from hurting more people.”

A similar bill was introduced in 2017.