Illinois Bill Would Increase Sex Crimes Prosecutions

Posted on in Sex Crimes

Illinois defense attorney, Illinois criminal lawyer, Ilinois criminal statutesIllinois lawmakers and advocates are hoping that new, recently proposed legislation will encourage more victims of sex crimes to come forward and seek justice. Historically, victims of sex crimes, such as rape, are hesitant to come forward for a number of reasons. Many fear not being believed. Others fear retaliation from their abuser. Studies show how significant the problem is. Recent studies and surveys say that only a small number of rapes, somewhere between five and 20 percent of incidents, are actually reported, meaning many perpetrators walk free and are able to commit further crimes.

Additionally, sex crime advocates say that many of the cases that are reported are mishandled by authorities or are not investigated thoroughly enough. If passed into law, Senate Bill 3096, would help victims come forward and report their crimes, and ensure that police departments across the state handled each case appropriately.

Helping Victims Come Forward

Being the victim of a sex crime is traumatic, and many authorities across America are not equipped to handle these types of delicate situations. Advocates say authorities need training on how to not re-traumatize victims of sex crimes, and that is a major element of SB 3096. If more victims are treated properly after they are raped or assaulted, specialists say future victims may be more likely to come forward. A statement from the Illinois Attorney General said one of the primary focuses of the proposed legislation is to “encourage more sexual assault survivors to come forward and increase the successful prosecution of sexual assault crimes in Illinois.”

The bill includes many requirements, including mandating that all law enforcement agencies across Illinois must implement policies detailing how felony sex crime cases will be handled. Each agency has until January 1st, 2018, to outline how they will provide “victim-centered” support. Mandatory training will update officers on how to properly respond to victims. Any victim of a sex crime must be informed by authorities that they are eligible for free medical treatment, and provided transportation to support locations if requested. Additionally, authorities must provide the location of a judge nearest to the victim if they wish to pursue a protective order.

More Thorough Investigations

The bill also details how felony sex crimes should be reported in the future. Every report of a felony sex crime must be written within 24 hours of authorities being notified, and the report must be transmitted to the appropriate law enforcement agency. Victims are also protected from being forced to provide a description of the incident if they are unwilling, and a friend or family member is now eligible to provide a report instead. Additionally, all evidence that could impact the case must be sent to a state crime laboratory.

The Cook County State’s Attorney says the legislation is needed to help put more sex offenders behind bars. “From a prosecutor's perspective, it is absolutely critical to ensure that law enforcement is doing everything possible to conduct thorough sexual assault investigations and meticulous evidence collection. This comprehensive legislation initiative will help to ensure that this occurs in every single incident of sexual assault and will help to create an environment of accountability for sexual offenders in all of our communities.”

Wrongly Accused of a Sex Crime?

If you have been wrongly accused of a sex crime, the charges you are likely facing are very serious. In addition to legal consequences including jail time and fines, your life could be completely changed moving forward. Do not let your individual or family name be ruined. You need a leader in criminal defense by your side throughout the legal process. The team at the Law Offices of Hal M. Garfinkel LLC, Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney can assist you immediately. Our qualified Chicago area criminal defense attorneys have successfully defended clients in cases involving criminal sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual abuse, internet sex offenses, rape, prostitution, and more. Call 312-629-0669 today to learn more about how we can help you. Source:
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