Governor Rauner signs Tracy initiative to extend statute of limitations in certain sex crime cases

State Sen. Jil Tracy (R-Quincy) applauded Governor Bruce Rauner’s recent signing of legislation she sponsored to correct an oversight in current law for victims of sexual assault.

Senate Bill 2271 corrects an anomaly in the statute of limitations with regard to the reporting of sexual offenses for victims who were unaware a sexual assault was committed against them due to circumstances, such as drug-induced or unconscious assaults. Currently, no provision exists to address sex crimes that are “later discovered” by the victim; in response, Tracy introduced Senate Bill 2271 to extend the statute of limitations to within one year following the victim’s discovery of the crime, when corroborating physical evidence is available.

“In cases prosecuting sexual offenses and assaults, ‘discovery’ should no doubt begin from when the victim discovers the crime, not from the day the crime was committed,” said Sen. Tracy. “I’d like to thank Adams County Assistant State’s Attorney Anita Rodriguez for bringing this issue to me, and for the help of State’s Attorney Gary Farha, as well as Rep. Randy Frese, who guided this critical measure through the Illinois House.”

Sen. Tracy sponsored the legislation in the Senate in response to a troubling case in Adams County where a woman was unconscious during the time of a sexual assault, and evidence of the offense was discovered on the perpetrator’s computer during a search warrant for an unrelated crime. The statute of limitations for the offense had already expired, and the defendant could not be charged for the sex crime.

“The statute of limitations should take into account cases when an individual was not conscious or mentally present to know the crime was committed. We’re all aware these crimes happen and they need to be treated fairly like every sexual assault case,” said Sen. Tracy.

Senate Bill 2271 takes effect January 1, 2019.

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