To help catch and prosecute the perpetrators of sexual assault, state Rep. Emily McAsey (D-Lockport) is sponsoring legislation to allow the clock on the statute of limitations for sexual assault to begin once a rape kit has been analyzed.
“Victims of rape and sexual assault should be able to bring charges against their attackers,” McAsey said. “However, when survivors are forced to wait years before evidence is analyzed, and the statute of limitations on the crime has run out, they are denied this opportunity. This measure will ensure that law enforcement has the time necessary to analyze rape kits, while protecting the rights of survivors.”
Already approved by the Senate, McAsey is sponsoring Senate Bill 2609 in the House of Representatives. The measure changes when the statute of limitations for sexual assault and rape cases begins – from the time it occurs to when the rape kit has been analyzed by law enforcement. Last year, local police departments and the Illinois State Police, with the support of the federal government, worked together to test more than 4,000 rape kits that had gone untested for many years. This proposal would allow survivors who waited decades the chance to face their attackers in court.
“In addition to giving closure to survivors and their families, this proposal provides law enforcement the opportunity to remove dangerous criminals from our communities,” McAsey added. “I will continue to work with local law enforcement, survivors and advocates to hold perpetrators of sexual assault responsible.”