This flood of calls started around October 11, 2017, after a man posted on social media about being molested by the teacher in question. After hearing about other long-running instances of sexual abuse, the man did not want to empower a child predator to hurt more victims. So he posted about his molestation, which dated back to the 1980s.
Since this man’s initial social media post, other alleged victims have come forward to post about molestation and sexual assault by the same teacher. Evanston police have also received approximately 30 calls. Though, according to police, most of the calls have involved hearsay or background information. There are no formal charges pending at the moment.
Despite the lack of formal charges, the high school in question sprang into action. The high school issued a “no-trespass order” to the teacher on October 12, 2017. The teacher is barred from the high school campus as well as school-related or school-sponsored events.
This news development also raises an interesting question about the statute of limitations on child sex crimes. As the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault confirmed, before August 2017, children who were victims of sexual assault had 20 years from their 18th birthday to report the crime. After the 20-year time limit expired, the victim would not be able to seek criminal prosecution.
Since the passage of Public Act 100-0080 in August, there is no longer a statute of limitations on child sex crimes. At this point, a child victim of sex crimes, including criminal sexual abuse and criminal sexual assault, can report the crime and seek criminal prosecution at any time.
That being said, Public Act 100-0080 only applies to all future child sex crimes and certain past child sex crimes. Public Act 100-0080 does apply to past crimes for which there is remaining time on the statute of limitations. If the 20-year statute of limitations has expired – as is the case in the present news story – then the victim cannot seek criminal prosecution. The victim can report the crime to law enforcement regardless and help prevent future crimes.
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(image courtesy of Daniel von Appen)