Madigan: Banish statutes of limitations on child assault

CHICAGO (AP) - Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, citing the actions of former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert, is pushing for the elimination of statutes of limitations on child abuse and assault crimes.

Madigan on Tuesday testified before the Senate Criminal Law Committee in support of Senate Bill 189, which the committee passed and sent on to the full Senate for consideration. She said children who suffer sexual assault and abuse often spend a lifetime recovering from the violations.

Madigan said Hastert inflicted "unbelievable pain" on the youth he molested at the school where he coached wrestling before entering politics. She adds he only got a "slap on the wrist."

The 75-year-old is serving a 15-month sentence in federal prison for violating banking laws as he sought to silence one of his victims with hush money.

Under current Illinois law, sexual offenses against children must be reported and prosecuted within 20 years of the victim turning 18 years old.