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New Bill Would Extend Statute of Limitations for Certain Sexual Offenses

Posted on in Felony

statute of limitations, sex crimes, Illinois criminal defense attorneyA bill which would extend the statute of limitations for certain sexual offenses has passed through the Illinois Senate and is now heading to the House for consideration. House Bill 1418 passed by a unanimous vote of 51-0.

The crimes which would be considered sexual offenses under the proposed bill are armed robbery, home invasion, kidnapping, or aggravated kidnaping if they occur during the commission of criminal sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual assault, or aggravated criminal sexual abuse.

A statute of limitation provides the period of time in which a person can be charged with a crime. The countdown begins the day the crime is committed. The statute of limitations depends on the particular law pertaining to the specific charge in question. Once the amount of time prescribed by law has passed, a person can no longer be charged with that crime.

Under current Illinois law, the statute of limitations for the prosecution of sexual assault provides 10 years, as long as the victim reported the assault within three years of the incident. However, under the current statute of limitations for armed robbery, home invasion, kidnapping, or aggravated kidnaping, charges must filed within three years of when the assault occurred. The new law would extend that time frame to 10 years, as well.

However, the proposed bill also includes lifting all statute of limitations if the victim of the crime was under 18-years-old when the assault happened. This means a person can be prosecuted for those crimes at any time.

The penalties for those convicted of sexual assault in Illinois are severe. Even a first-time offender faces mandatory prison time and is required to register as a sexual offender upon his or her release. Charges and penalties include:

  • Criminal Sexual Assault: First offense is a Class 1 felony, with a prison sentence of 4 to 15 years. Subsequent offenses are classified as Class X felonies and convictions are punishable by 6 to 30 years in prison for a second offense, 30 to 60 years for extended sentences.
  • Aggravated Sexual Assault: This charge is a Class X felony and a first time offender faces 6 to 30 years in prison, with more time added if a firearm was used during the assault. Subsequent offenses result in life sentences with no possibility of parole if convicted.
  • Predatory Criminal Sexual Assault: This is also a Class X felony and first time offenders face a 6 to 30 year mandatory minimum of prison time. Subsequent convictions require a mandatory life prison sentence with no possibility of parole.

Just being arrested for a sexual offense can have devastating consequences on a person’s life, even if they are not convicted. If you have been charged with sexual assault, it is critical that you contact an experienced Oak Brook criminal defense attorney immediately to begin preparing your case.

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