Victims of childhood sexual abuse in Illinois may find the legal system daunting in addition to dealing with the trauma of the abuse they have suffered. Indeed, many different laws and standards can apply in a case. Under Illinois’s Code of Civil Procedure, sexual abuse includes but is not limited to sexual conduct and sexual penetration as defined in the Criminal Code. Childhood Sexual Abuse is defined as “an act of sexual abuse” when the abused person is under 18 years old. Generally, a claim based on childhood sexual abuse must be filed within 20 years of the date the statute of limitations began to run, or within 20 years of the date the victim discovers or should discover both “that the act of childhood sexual abuse occurred” and “that the injury was caused by the childhood sexual abuse.”
In 2017, Illinois eliminated the statute of limitations for criminal prosecutions for felony criminal sexual assault and sexual abuse crimes against children. The law applies to future cases as well as then-current cases in which the old statute of limitations had not yet expired. Before the change in the law, most serious sexual offenses against children had to be prosecuted within 20 years of the survivor turning 18 years old. Although the statute of limitations is shorter for civil cases, there are several exceptions that may extend the statute of limitations. If you were the victim of abuse and have questions about the timing of filing a case, reach out to a dedicated Illinois sexual abuse attorney.
Catholic Church Failed to Disclose Names of Priests Accused of Abuse
Illinois’s Attorney General announced this week that six Catholic dioceses in the state did not disclose the names of at least 500 priests who have been accused of sexual abuse, according to one news source. The state’s investigation was sparked by a Pennsylvania grand jury report that found there were 300 “predator priests” in that state.