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sex crime, new law, Illinois criminal defense attorneyThere has been much controversy regarding a sexual assault case brought against a former Northern Illinois University (NIU) campus police officer and how the campus police force handled the investigation. The allegations of impropriety led to a raid by the FBI of the NIU police headquarters, as well as the firing of the department’s police chief.  The case has also led to the filing of an Illinois bill which would turn over any investigations of sex crimes on a college campus to the local police department.

In the NIU case, the former campus police officer has been accused of sexually assaulting a college freshman, with whom he had a relationship, in 2011. The alleged victim has testified that she turned over an exchange of text messages she had with the defendant to the campus police. Those text messages have disappeared, along with two hours of recorded testimony made by the former NIU officer while he was being questioned by investigating campus police officers. The defendant’s attorney claims that all of this missing evidence would exonerate his client, and has accused the NIU police department of intentionally destroying the evidence.

In response to this case, as well as several other cases around the country where there has been questionable handling of sexual assault investigations by other campus police departments, one Illinois lawmaker has introduced House Bill 3520, the Investigations of Sexual Assault in Higher Education Act. Under the proposed legislation, any sex crime investigation, which takes place at a college or university – whether a public or private institution – would automatically be under the jurisdiction of either the municipal police department or county sheriff. Supporters of the bill say that one of the biggest problems with the current system is that college campus police lack the training to properly investigate these types of cases.

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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.

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illinois sex offender lawyerUnder Illinois law if you have been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor offense concerning unlawful sexual conduct, you may be required to register as a sex offender.  Some examples for convictions of sex crimes that require registration are as follows:

  • Indecent solicitation or sexual exploitation of a child;
  • Offenses concerning unlawful conduct with juvenile prostitute;
  • Child Pornography;
  • Criminal Sexual Abuse;
  • Criminal Sexual Assault;
  • Forcible detention of a victim under age 18; and
  • Public Indecency for a third subsequent conviction.

A more complete list of the offenses for which a defendant must register as a sexual offender can be found on the Illinois Sex Offender Information website.

Registration Process and Requirements

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dorm roomOver the course of two consecutive nights, a freshman at Loyola University allegedly raped two classmates.  19 year old Colin Kennedy, a California native, was arrested on Sunday January 27th at a neighborhood restaurant after a friend of the victims texted the Chicago Police Department with his description and location.

The first sexual assault occurred on January 13th after a night of drinking.  The 19 year old victim allowed Kennedy to stay in her room in Fordham Hall.  After being asleep for a while, the girl woke up to Kennedy sexually assaulting her but she was unable to stay awake and escape.  After the attack, Kennedy allegedly want to another friend’s room to talk about the event only wearing boxers.  The victim woke up naked after falling asleep fully clothed and noticed Kennedy’s clothes on her floor.  She told a friend and later informed the campus police.

The next night, a 20 year old girl was also allegedly sexually assaulted.  After a small gathering in her room, this girl allowed Kennedy to stay there because he couldn’t get into his own dorm room.  Again after the victim fell asleep, she woke up to Kennedy groping her.  Although she tried to fight him off, Kennedy raped her and then fell asleep.  She stayed awake the rest of the night and asked Kennedy to leave in the morning.  When she spoke to her friends about the incident, one turned out to be the first victim from the previous night.

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inside palmer house hotelOver the weekend of January 11th, the former stepson of White Sox Vice President Kenny Williams was at a hotel downtown with his girlfriend.  Dedrick Williams is the son of Kenny’s former wife and has not been in communication with his stepfather for years.  Early on Saturday morning around 3 am, the two had a dispute and hit each other in their hotel room at the Palmer House Hotel.  When the Chicago Police arrived both Dedrick, 30, and his girlfriend, 30, admitted to hitting each other.

Williams’ girlfriend suffered a black eye, a swollen lip and bruises on her arms.  Williams’ injuries were not reported.  She claimed that her injuries were the result of Dedrick punching her in the face with a closed fist.  Both were offered medical attention at the scene but both declined to be treated and were released.

Later, she had a female friend take her to Northwestern Memorial Hospital to receive medical attention.  At the hospital, she confessed that Dedrick sexually assaulted her at the hotel.  The police arrested Dedrick at his home at the 4700 block of North Central Avenue around 9:30 am.  He was charged with felony criminal sexual assault and felony unlawful restraint.  He was also charged with misdemeanor domestic battery.  When he was at bond court on January 14th, the judge set his bond at $150,000 and ordered home monitoring if he would post bond.

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A southwestern Illinois man was charged Saturday with aggravated criminal sexual abuse in connection with a St. Louis teenager who told police she was held captive in his home for three years and conceived a child with him before escaping.

St. Clair County State's Attorney Brendan Kelly said Saturday that 25-year-old Steven Elliot Johnson of Washington Park had sex with the teenager when she was underage, but would not comment on whether the evidence supports the teen's story of being held against her will.

Johnson was charged with a total of five crimes, including a felony count of promotion of prostitution, but Kelly would not say if that was related to the teenager. The other counts were two felony drug charges and a felony gun charge. He was being held in St. Clair County Jail on $2 million bond.

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An Illinois man is now charged with allegedly killing a woman and her unborn child at a Door County resort.

Brian Cooper, 35, faces two counts of first-degree intentional homicide and one for third-degree sexual assault.

Last month, Cooper allegedly strangled 22-year-old Alisha Bromfield at a resort in the town of Nasewaupee, WI where the two were staying in the area for a wedding. According to the criminal complaint filed last Tuesday, Bromfield had wanted to break it off with Cooper and he "didn&t want to go home single."

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A sex crime charge has been added to the case against a Centerville, Ill., man accused killing Southern Illinois couple a few weeks ago.

Formal charges against Danny K. Coston, 36, now include a felony charge of aggravated criminal sexual assault while armed with a firearm.

The body of Jessi Evans, 17 of Norris City, Ill., was found on the evening of Aug. 27. The body of her boyfriend, Jacob Wheeler, 22 of Centerville, was found the next Friday night.

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After a four hour debate Cook County jury found a Berwyn area physician guilty of sexaully assaulting patients during routine medical exams.

Ricardo Arze, 53, of Berwyn, was found guilty of criminal sexual assault.  According to Cook County’s State's Attorney's office, Arze assaulted a then 48 year old female patient in 2005 while examining her for flu-like symptoms.  Arze's conviction is the first following numerous complaints that he had fondled and assaulted female patients during similar examinations.

The victim, who does not speak English, testified through an interpreter.  According to her testimony, Arze fondled and sexually assaulted her during the exam in 2005,  She later reported the crime to authorities.

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