December 9, 2022

Sexual assault penalty enhancement passes Illinois House

Legislation to enhance prosecutors’ abilities to charge individual who commit sexual assault by deception has passed through the Illinois House and is now in the Senate.

House Bill 3303 was introduced by state Rep. Katie Stuart, D-Collinsville, and would make an assault by deception a Class 3 felony in Illinois.

Assault by deception is a situation in which the perpetrator obtains the victim’s agreement to engage in sexual intercourse or other sex acts, but gains consent by deception.

A person giving consent despite any deception limits how prosecutors can handle claims of rape under current law. Stuart’s measure would change that.

“There are holes here that we need to close,” Stuart said. “We need to end the rape culture that exists here in the United States and beyond and that’s why I brought this bill forward.”

The current law states that if a person gives consent, the event can not be classified as a sexual assault. Stuart said that this law is causing victims to remain quiet.

“It is no wonder that we do not know how many survivors of sexual assault there are because laws like this are why survivors do not come forward,” Stuart said.

The bill was originally filed in 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic forced the measure to be put on hold. That did not stop Stuart from pushing her legislation through the House earlier this month.

“We were in this pandemic and we were dealing with pressing and timely issues, but I kept fighting because this is a pressing and timely issue for these sexual assault survivors every day, ” Stuart said.

According to WorldReview.com, Illinois has recorded more than 6,000 rapes this year alone, which is about 49 out of 100,000 people.

Illinois is 19th in the nation for most sexual assault cases.

Stuart’s bill passed nearly unanimously through the Illinois House with one person voting “present” and now awaits action in the Senate.

This article was originally posted on Sexual assault penalty enhancement passes Illinois House

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