A new bill introduced in the Illinois legislature would extend the statute of limitations in some rape cases. Senate Bill 2609 seeks to change when the statute of limitations in rape cases begins to run. Current law provides that the statute of limitations in rape cases begins to run on the date the alleged rape occurred, if the alleged victim reported it to police within three years. If you are being investigated for, or have been charged with, committing rape, contact an experienced sexual assault attorney immediately.
Proposed Changes to Illinois Sexual Assault Statute of Limitations
If the new law is enacted, the statute of limitations would begin to run on the date the police processed DNA evidence from the rape kit. The new law is in response to a case in which the alleged victim submitted to a DNA rape kit. By the time the police processed it, the 10-year statute of limitations had expired, and the prosecution was unable to file charges against the alleged rapist. The bill’s sponsor argues that victims should not be denied justice due to police mistakes, whether caused by a lack of competency or a backlog of cases.
Effect of Statute of Limitations Extension in Illinois Rape Cases
If SB 2609 passes, it will likely have little effect on the prosecution of rape cases. The case that spurred on the new law is no doubt a one-time case of severe police ineptitude not likely to be repeated, even if the police do have a backlog of rape kits to process. Even though opponents of the law say it does not give the police incentive to process DNA rape kits, since they know charges can be filed no matter how much time has passed between the date the alleged rape occurred and the date they final process the kit, the embarrassment over this case should keep them honest.
Passage of SB 2609 will have no effect on how the Chicago Law Offices of David L. Freidberg, P.C., will defend against sex crimes cases. Rape kits and DNA evidence are not the bombshell evidence the prosecution and media would have you believe. The rape kit only confirms whether the alleged victim and alleged rapist had sexual intercourse. If the DNA results from the rape kit show that the alleged rapist did not have sex with the alleged victim, then the charges will be dropped. And if the DNA results show that the two did have sex? Well, that’s all it shows.
Evidence of sexual intercourse is just that – proof that two people had sex. It is not evidence that a rape occurred. If the sex was consensual and no protection was used, of course the rape kit would find the alleged rapist’s DNA on the alleged victim. If it shows scratches, abrasions or other marks on or inside the victim, that still is not evidence that a sexual assault occurred.
David L. Freidberg has an arsenal of forensic experts who can examine the results of a DNA rape kit to determine whether there’s any possibility that the sample was improperly tested or not large enough for an accurate result. They can also testify to any number of harmless, non-assault reasons why marks or abrasions on the victim could have occurred, either during consensual sex or during the victim’s normal daily activities.
Experienced Chicago Sexual Assault Defense Attorney
Sexual assault is a serious crime that carries with it serious prison time and fines, in addition to sex offender registration upon release from prison. If you or anyone you know has been charged with rape or another sex crime, call us 24/7 at 312-560-7100 or contact the Law Offices of David L. Freidberg, P.C., immediately. You need an experienced Cook County sexual assault attorney to begin investigating the charges and evidence against you right away. Your freedom and future livelihood may depend on it.