According to a recently published Illinois.gov press release, Illinois Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today signed a law that would increase protection of children from sexual predators and rapists with a new law. The law would make it a criminal offense to lure a minor through electronic sources (such as the internet) and would consider the convicted individual as a sexual predator if they had committed two or more luring offenses in their lives.
Governor Rod Blagojevich said, “As parents, we worry about what our children might be doing online. We worry about who they are talking to and who might be watching them. And as a parent, I am happy to sign this law, which gives law enforcement officials the tools they need to protect minors from predators who may be watching our children on the Internet. I would like to thank the sponsors for their work to keep our children safe.”
The bill, known as House Bill 1979, was sponsored and proposed by Illinois State Representative Ruth Munson and Illinois State Senator John Millner. The bill strongly increases the punishment for luring a minor in the state of Illinois.
The bill states that luring a minor includes someone over the age of 18 luring a child under the age of 15 using the telephone, internet, or text messaging. Luring also states that the predator persuades the child to leave the protection of their home and guardians for the sole purpose of committing a crime.
Representative Ruth Munson said, “”The Internet has made the impossible possible. But it has also provided a window of opportunity for those who wish to harm our children. I would like to thank the Governor for signing this law and making it more difficult for sex offenders to climb through that window.”
“This is a parent’s dream,” said Chicago resident and mother of three Rosemary Higgins. “The Governor is right. Parents always want their children protected to the fullest and the state recognizes that with this new law. It’s great to hear and I know a lot of parents will feel as though their kids are safer and that criminals and sexual predators will no longer get off easy when it comes to harming children in the state of Illinois.”
The laws outlined in House Bill 1979 will fully go into effect on June 1, 2008. More information will be available about the bill soon at illinois.gov.
Illinois.gov. “Gov. Blagojevich signs law to further protect children from sexual predators.” www.illinois.gov/PressReleases/ShowPressRelease.cfm