SPRINGFIELD – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today signed legislation to better protect children and the public from sex offenders. House Bill 4135 prohibits child sex offenders from conducting or operating a business that photographs children under the age of 18.
“This new restriction, along with our innovative parole reform program at the Department of Corrections that includes the aggressive monitoring of sex offenders, will strengthen our ability to protect our children and our communities,” Governor Blagojevich said. “This new law is another step to ensure our children are not put in harm’s way.”
House Bill 4135, sponsored by Rep. Terry Parke (R-Schaumburg) and Sen. Jacqueline Collins (D-Chicago) makes it unlawful for a child sex offender to knowingly conduct or operate any type of business in which he or she photographs, videotapes or takes a digital image of a child. The law also prohibits child sex offenders to conduct or operate any type of business in which they instruct or direct another person to photograph, videotape or take a digital image of a child. Violation of this law is a Class 2 felony.
“Sex offenders can be creative when choosing their victims and calculating their crimes,” Governor Blagojevich added. “This new law is designed to address public safety and protect our children by limiting child sex offenders’ ability to seek out their next victim.”
Illinois Department of Corrections Director Roger E. Walker Jr. said the agency is committed to the challenge of strengthening parole supervision of sex offenders by ensuring that all paroled sex offenders comply with their conditions of parole.
“Through the Operation Spotlight parole reform initiative, parole agents with special training will provide intensive monitoring and supervision of sex offenders to ensure they are accountable and meet the requirements of their parole,” Walker said. “A new surveillance unit also is dedicated to addressing high-risk cases.”