Rep. Wheeler's bill to remove statute of limitations on sexual assault advances to state Senate
Legislation sponsored by Illinois State Rep. Keith R. Wheeler (R-Oswego) that would erase the statute of limitations in sexual assault cases has passed the House of Representatives by a unanimous 113-0 vote.
HB 2135, which would empower law enforcement and prosecutors with the authority to conduct investigations and bring about charges regardless of time time restrictions, now moves on to the Senate for consideration.
“Advances in DNA testing have made it possible to solve decades-old cases with evidence that wasn’t available at the time,” Wheeler said in a press release. “The statute of limitations has already been removed for sexual assault and abuse crimes for victims under the age of 18. Let’s extend the opportunity for justice to every victim of sexual assault in Illinois.”
Supporters of the legislation joined Wheeler and company at the Capitol Building in Springfield on April 4 to see the measure take its next step.
“The Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault applauds the passage of HB 2135 out of the House and the leadership of Rep. Wheeler in shepherding this important legislation as it makes its way to the Illinois Senate,” ICASA Executive Director Carrie Ward added in the release. “HB 2135 will greatly benefit rape victims in Illinois by allowing them to pursue justice no matter when the assault against them occurred. ICASA’s 30 rape crisis centers in Illinois strongly encourage every Senator to vote yes on HB 2135.”
Present law stipulates that only cases falling within a 10-year period for victims over the age of 18 are open to prosecution, provided the victim reported the offense to law enforcement within three years of the commission of the crime.