This week, the Illinois Senate unanimously passed legislation filed by State Representative Chris Bos (R-Lake Zurich), House Bill 4593, to hold those who sexually abuse children accountable. The legislation, which previously passed the Illinois House in February, is now ready for the Governor to sign into law.
“The unanimous passage of House Bill 4593 in both the House and Senate 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,” said Bos.
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 in February 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.
State Senator Dan McConchie (R-Hawthorn Woods) carried the legislation in the State Senate. Speaking of his support, Bos said, “I’m proud to have a partner like Sen. McConchie working alongside me, and other advocates, in the fight against sexual exploitation.”
For more information about HB 4593, click here.