State Senate passes legislation to protect sexual assault victims, House to vote

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -– Victims of sexual assault shouldn’t fear reporting the crime to police, but those with minor past legal issues could open themselves up to arrest under current law.

Legislation passed on May 30 the Illinois Senate, to be voted on in the House.

“Under current law, police must arrest sexual assault victims who have outstanding non-violent arrest warrants,” said State Sen. Jason Barickman (R-Bloomington). “This legislation fixes that issue and makes sure that victims don’t have to fear reporting an assault.”

Under current law, when a victim of sexual assault comes into contact with police, such as when going to the hospital for treatment, they must be arrested for any outstanding warrants, even in cases of minor non-violent offenses or unpaid fines.

House Bill 92 would require the officer to request a waiver of the required execution of the warrant, so long as it isn’t for a violent offense or parole violation.

“We are thrilled to see this bill pass,” said Kelsie Langheim Frooman, director of client services for McLean County YWCA Stepping Stones. “We need more senators and representative like Senators Barickman and Villivalam and Representative Kalish to sponsor bills like this one to provide the assurance of safety to survivors of sexual assault so they can seek the medical treatment they need and deserve after an assault without fear.”

House Bill 92 passed the Senate unanimously on May 30 and is now headed back to the House for a concurrence vote.

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