Abels & Annes

New Laws Designed to Protect Illinois Children From Sex Offenders Go Into Effect in 2013

1408768_2013_1%20sxchu%20username%20djj.jpgA new law that took effect on January 1st will ban convicted sex offenders in Illinois from attending or participating in holiday events that are likely to involve young children. In the future, sex offenders will no longer be able to hand out Halloween candy, dress up as Santa Claus, or play the Easter Bunny at holiday events. Violators will face possible fines, jail time, and could have their probation or parole revoked. The law was reportedly sponsored by Illinois State Senator Kirk Dillard. Senator Dillard said he chose to introduce the bill in response to multiple reported incidents where convicted sex offenders used holiday events in order to gain access to children in Illinois.

During the last Illinois legislative session, Senator Dillard also sponsored a bill designed to allow for the felony prosecution of individuals who attempt to lure children on their way to school into a motor vehicle. The law, which also went into effect at the beginning January, was proposed in response to a recent incident that purportedly occurred in DuPage County. In that case, a convicted sex offender allegedly tried to lure a 17-year-old girl who was walking to school into his van. Before the new law was passed, Illinois child luring laws reportedly only protected children under the age of 16.

Other new sex offender laws also go into effect in the New Year. The laws include professional licensing requirements for sex offender evaluators, risk assessment requirements for juvenile offenders who seek to be removed from the state offender registry, an expanded definition regarding what constitutes a child sex offender, and other changes.

In addition to criminal penalties, the victims of childhood sexual abuse may be eligible to file a civil personal injury case against their attacker or an entity that failed to keep them safe. Often, children who are sexually abused fail to come forward immediately out of fright or embarrassment. In the State of Illinois, the statute of limitations for sexual abuse of a minor is now longer than for other personal injury claims. Since 2011, kids who were the victim of sexual abuse have 20 years from their 18th birthday to file a civil lawsuit against their abuser. In addition, a victim who has repressed his or her memories of sexual abuse has 20 years from the date they realized they were abused during which to file a lawsuit. Unfortunately, minors who were sexually abused prior to 2011 may face a shorter statute of limitations. If you were the victim of childhood sexual abuse, you should contact a skilled personal injury lawyer to discuss your case.

If you were sexually abused by a neighbor, priest, teacher, or another adult, please contact the dedicated attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C. today. Our committed Chicago sexual abuse and assault lawyers are available 24 hours per day, seven days per week to help you file your personal injury case. For a free confidential consultation with an experienced and hardworking personal injury attorney, do not hesitate to call Abels & Annes, P.C. at (312) 475-9596 or contact us through our website.

More Blogs:

Holiday Burn Injuries are Common in Illinois, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, December 15, 2012
DuPage County Man Settles Chicago Construction Accident Case for Record $5.1 Million, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, December 8, 2012
Additional Resources:

Sex Offender, Child Luring Laws to Take Effect Jan. 1, by Charlotte Eriksen, Wheaton Patch

Photo credit: djj, Stock.xchng