New protections for sexual assault victims signed into law

Victims of sexual assault now have new protections when reporting the crime to police or receiving treatment at a hospital, due to legislation sponsored by State Senator Jason Barickman (R-Bloomington) and signed into law by Governor Pritzker.

“Victims of sexual assault shouldn’t fear being arrested when reporting the crime to police, even if they have had minor legal issues in the past” said State Sen. Jason Barickman (R-Bloomington). “Victims may not even know they have a warrant for non-violent offenses or unpaid fines, and this new law makes sure they won’t be arrested while reporting a sexual assault.”

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

House Bill 92, which was signed into law recently, requires 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 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,” said Kelsie Langheim Frooman, director of client services for McLean County YWCA Stepping Stones.

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