Legislation Inspired by Local Case
Far too often, child victims are traumatized again by the criminal justice system when they must testify in front of their assailant in court. Legislation co-sponsored by State Senator Chapin Rose (R-Mahomet) would allow victims under the age of 13 to testify remotely in most cases.
“This is an important layer of protection for children who have been victims of the worst types of crimes, who would be re-victimized all over again by having to speak about the worst moments of their life in front of a courtroom of strangers, while their abuser stares them down,” said Rose. “This won’t fix the trauma for the family that brought this to my attention; but, I hope that it will help them find justice as they will now know that their efforts will help future victims of abuse.”
House Bill 2607 creates a legal mechanism to allow victims under the age of 13 to testify outside the courtroom, with the testimony shown in the courtroom via a closed-circuit television system.
The legislation was inspired by constituents of Senator Rose who were forced to take legal action to prevent their child from being required to testify against their abuser in court, rather than via closed circuit TV.
“The entire court process made a horrific situation even worse and proved to be extremely traumatic for both the child and their family,” Rose concluded. The legislation has now passed both chambers of the General Assembly and awaits the signature of the Governor to become law.