JBT Hearing Photo“Sexual crimes committed by Dennis Hastert were horrible, and there should not be a time limit for when charges can be brought forward. People who physically and emotionally harm our children must be held accountable.”

CHICAGO— Prosecutors would no longer face deadlines when prosecuting child sex offenders under legislation introduced this year by State Sen. Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood).

The importance of eliminating the statute of limitations on child sex crimes was the focus of a legislative hearing Bertino-Tarrant attended today. Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, victims’ advocates and Scott Cross, a survivor of abuse by former U.S. Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, testified at the hearing.

“The testimony I heard today makes me more determined to keep fighting to hold accountable predators who emotionally and physically harm our children,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “If a perpetrator doesn’t get caught right away, that doesn’t mean they should get away with abusing children.”

Under Bertino-Tarrant’s plan, House Bill 1127, the statute of limitations would be removed for criminal sexual assault and criminal sexual abuse of a child, ensuring that prosecution for these crimes could occur at any time.

Bertino-Tarrant’s legislation and today’s hearing comes in the aftermath of Hastert being convicted of bank fraud stemming from efforts to cover up child sex abuse when he was a teacher in Yorkville.

Hastert was not able to face charges for more serious charges of sexual abuse because the statute of limitations for those offenses had expired.

“Sexual crimes committed by Dennis Hastert were horrible, and there should not be a time limit for when charges can be brought forward,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “People who physically and emotionally harm our children must be held accountable.”

Bertino-Tarrant has called for Hastert’s public pensions to be taken away. The senator filed legislation that would have allowed for Hastert’s General Assembly Retirement System (GARS) pension to be taken away. She also sent a letter to GARS requesting that his state lawmaker pension be immediately revoked.

 

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