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April 27, 2016

ATTORNEY GENERAL MADIGAN & ILLINOIS COALITION AGAINST SEXUAL ASSAULT URGE LAWMAKERS TO ELIMINATE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS ON CHILD SEX CRIMES

Chicago — Attorney General Lisa Madigan and the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault (ICASA) today called on Illinois lawmakers to eliminate the statute of limitations for felony criminal sexual assault and sexual abuse crimes against children.

Madigan and ICASA's Executive Director Polly Poskin have long supported the removal of the current statute of limitations for sexual assault crimes against children. Illinois law should allow children who have been victims of sexual assault and abuse the time to come forward and report their crimes. Survivors of sexual assault crimes during their childhood should be afforded the time it takes to process their assault and come forward to report their crimes to authorities.

"Sexual assault continues to be pervasive in society, affecting far too many children and families across Illinois," said Madigan. "When a prosecutor cannot indict an offender for these heinous acts because the statute of limitations has run, it raises serious moral, legal and ethical questions. We have long supported extending the time period for prosecutors to file sexual assault and abuse charges, and we urge the Legislature to eliminate the statute of limitations on all sex crimes involving children."

"What is most important in these cases - the offense or the time that has passed?" Polly Poskin said. "If people understood the devastating and debilitating impact that sex crimes have on someone, then they would understand why it's so hard to step forward, especially when the perpetrator is someone in a position of trust, like a teacher or coach. These victims need justice in order to heal even decades after the abuse."

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