Victims of sexual abuse in Illinois have a limited amount of time in which to file charges.
But a proposal on its way to the governor would back some of those limits.
Tiffany Denmark of Chicago said she was sexually abused not once, but twice, by a pastor – with the second encounter resulting in her becoming pregnant.
Denmark said she was pressured into having an abortion. Afterwards, she says she fell into a state of depression, and attempted suicide.
DENMARK: “My mother’s pastor was aware of what happened and even visited me in the hospital, but said because I didn’t say anything when I was younger it was too late.”
Illinois currently has a 10-year window where criminal sexual charges can be filed against an alleged attacker.
But a plan approved by Illinois lawmakers would allow charges to be filed at any time – as long as the victim was a minor when the alleged attack took place.
Evidence would need to be provided before charges are filed – which Matt Jones, with a state prosecutor’s office, says could range from a photograph of bruises, to…
JONES: “Because of guilt and the march of time, an offender will send a letter apologizing for their inappropriate behavior, ‘I’m sorry what I did to you.’”
A spokesman for Governor Pat Quinn says sexual assault is a “top public safety priority,” and will review the legislation once it reaches his desk.