Today, the Illinois House of Representatives unanimously passed legislation filed by State Representative Chris Bos (R-Lake Zurich), House Bill 4593, to hold those who sexually abuse children accountable.
“Today, the House took an important step to stand up for underage victims of sexual exploitation,” said Bos. “The unanimous passage of House Bill 4593 says to victims in a unified voice that we see you, we hear you and we will not let your abusers off the hook for their depraved actions.”
Under the legislation, those who pay for sex would no longer be able to claim they did not know the person they solicited for sex was underage or was a person with an intellectual disability and use it as an affirmative defense. This change in the law would place the burden on the exploiter who solicited the sex to prove they did not know their victim was underage or disabled, rather than placing the burden on the victim.
Bos, an advocate for victims of sexual exploitation, noted during the debate on the House floor that the majority of the underage who are exploited are victims of human trafficking who have been forced or manipulated into their sexual abuse.
“Making it harder for these predators to escape justice is vital to ensuring fewer children and vulnerable people become victims,” said Bos. “I’m thankful to my colleagues in the House for their support today and I hope to see the Senate pass the bill unanimously as well.”
For more information about HB 4593, click here.