SPRINGFIELD - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today signed House Bill 4771, giving victims of spousal criminal sexual assault and abuse an extended period of time to report the crime.
“It is time to take a stand against the perpetrators of criminal sexual assault and spousal rape,” said Gov. Blagojevich. “We must do everything we can to assist law enforcement officials with the investigation and prosecution of these crimes.”
House Bill 4771, sponsored by Rep. Lisa Dugan (D-Kankakee) and Sen. Debbie Halvorson (D-Chicago Heights), removes the requirement that a victim of spousal criminal sexual assault must report the offense within 30 days.
The bill also extends the time during which a victim, who may have been drugged, can authorize a urine analysis to test for controlled substances from 48 hours (the current law) to 30 days. This will allow victims more time make decisions regarding medical examinations.
By providing more time for victims to bring crimes to light, HB 4771 will increase the number of sexual assault cases that will be eligible for prosecution. It also allows victims of sexual assault more time to cope with the incident before proceeding with legal and medical action.
HB 4771 is effective immediately.