Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins lauded the unanimous passage today of legislation designed to make it easier for child victims of sex-trafficking to obtain justice. House Bill 5278, approved by the Illinois Senate, extends the statute of limitations for sex-trafficking offenses involving child victims to one year after the victim turns 18. It will go to the House for a concurrence vote before awaiting the governor’s signature.

“It is extremely difficult for a child who has been a victim of sex-trafficking to press charges against the exploiter when as a minor she is still in a vulnerable and dependent position, often unable to live on her own,” said Sen. Collins, the legislation’s sponsor in the Senate. “Giving victims an extra year past the age of majority can make the difference between living in fear and seeing justice done.”

Sen. Collins’ legislation also specifies that when perpetrators – by deceiving their victims – cause them to fear they will suffer serious harm if they attempt to escape, they are forcing them into involuntary servitude, even if they do not physically restrain or injure them. LeAnn Majors, a survivor of human trafficking, testified in a Senate committee that expanding the definition of involuntary servitude is essential to rescuing human trafficking victims, especially children, from their captors.

“I was told [by police], ‘Come back when you have bruises,’” Majors said. “Victims don’t always have bruises, but inside they have fear. [This protection] wasn’t there for me, but I want it to be there for others.”

"We have made significant progress in the legislative arena in recent years when it comes to cracking down on the sex trafficking of children and this legislation is another step forward that will help police and prosecutors obtain justice for the youngest victims of this horrific crime," Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez said. "We are grateful to Senator Collins for her hard work on this legislation and her leadership on this important issue." 

The current statute of limitations for sex-trafficking – whether involving a child or an adult – is three years from the time of the last offense against the victim. Other sex crimes involving children allow for an extra year after the victim turns 18 if three years have already passed. For instance, if a victim was 12 when the trafficking offense occurred, charges could be filed against the perpetrator until the victim’s 19th birthday. However, charges could be filed against the exploiter of a 17-year-old at any time until the victim turns 20, because the statute of limitations cannot be less than three years.


Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins meets with Destiny Brown, Elias Shavers and Christian Stampley, students at Perspectives Charter School for TECH Day at the Capitol.

State Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins was proud to introduce to the Illinois State Senate the 2012 state champions in boys’ basketball – the Simeon Career Academy Wolverines. In March, the South Side Chicago school claimed its third consecutive state title and its sixth overall, the most of any school in Illinois. Members of the Senate applauded team members, including nationally top-ranked junior Jabari Parker, for their athletic and academic achievements.

“These hard-working and talented young men are an inspiration,” Sen. Collins said. “I am honored to congratulate them on their record-setting achievements.”

Sen. Collins singled out forward Jabari Parker for recognition, noting his 3.8 grade point average and commitment to community service in addition to his extraordinary skill on the court.

“Jabari stands as a shining example of a true student athlete who uses his mind, body and soul to the best of his ability,” Sen. Collins said. “He is also a team player who credits his teammates for his success.”

Parker, considered the top-ranked high school junior player in the nation, was recently honored as Illinois’ Mr. Basketball 2012 and presented with the “Rising Star” award from the DuSable Museum in Chicago. He is weighing his many college options. Simeon Career Academy is also the alma mater of Derrick Rose, who now plays professionally for the Chicago Bulls.

Read more: Sen. Collins Welcomes Simeon’s State Champions to Springfield

State Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins received the Blue Bow Award last Wednesday for her work in preventing child abuse and neglect through visionary public policy. The commendation was given by Children’s Home + Aid, an organization that facilitates adoptions and provides services to troubled families and abused children. Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle (a past Blue Bow honoree) presented recipients with their awards at the Children’s Home + Aid Champions for Children Luncheon on April 11. Sen. Collins received the award for her leadership in Englewood and surrounding communities, where child abuse and neglect rates are some of the highest in Chicago.

“I believe that protecting children requires safe homes but also safe communities,” Sen. Collins said.

Contact Info

Chicago Office:
1155 W. 79th St.
Chicago, IL 60620
(773) 224-2830

Springfield Office:
M114 Capitol
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-1607


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