Bills aims to improve sexual assault reporting in Illinois - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Bills aims to improve sexual assault reporting in Illinois

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Adams County State's Attorney Gary Farha talking with WGEM's Kaylee Pfeiferling. Adams County State's Attorney Gary Farha talking with WGEM's Kaylee Pfeiferling.
If passed, the new initiative will make it easier for prosecutors at the courthouse to bring those committed of sexual assault crimes to justice. If passed, the new initiative will make it easier for prosecutors at the courthouse to bring those committed of sexual assault crimes to justice.
Senator Jil Tracy is the sponsor of the new legislation. Senator Jil Tracy is the sponsor of the new legislation.
QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) -

Imagine being a rape victim but a loophole in the law prevented your attacker from being prosecuted. That's exactly what happened in Adams County and now it's sparking a change in state legislation in regards to the statute of limitations. 

If passed, the new initiative will make it easier for prosecutors at the courthouse to bring those committed of sexual assault crimes to justice. 

"There are people in the world that are sick and who do strange things and we want to bring those type of people to justice," said Adams County State's Attorney Gary Farha. 

Farha describes a troubling sexual assault case in Adams County that happened about a year and a half ago. 

He says police were doing a search warrant at the perpetrators house for an unrelated crime and they found tapes of the man sexually assaulting victims who were unconscious. 

"This victim was drugged and had no idea, did not consent to being recorded and had no idea the abuse had occurred," said Farha.

It wasn't until those tapes were found that the victim even knew she was assaulted and by that time the statute of limitations had run out. 

"We put together a bill that said basically the statute of limitations was one year after the person knew or discovered the sexual assault," said State Senator Jil Tracy.

Tracy said the statute of limitations now is one year from when the crime occurred. 

Tracy is the sponsor of the new legislation and says as the law stands now, there is currently no provision in place to address sex crimes that are later discovered by the victim.

"We had a person who was victimized, did not know it, and there was no recourse for what had been perpetrated upon her because of the statute of limitations," said Tracy. 

Both Tracy and Farha hope this will improve reporting of sex offenses for the victims. 

"Justice is what it will mean," said Farha.

The bill passed unanimously in the Senate. It now moves to the House for consideration and Tracy hopes representatives will approve it before the session ends on May 31. 

Click here to read Senate Bill 2271. 

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