Tracy Opposes Delayed Reporting For Sex Assault Cases Bill

By Benjamin Cox on May 13, 2023 at 9:17am

50th District

State Senator Jil Tracy is standing in opposition to a bill that would delay police involvement in sexual assault cases.

Senate Bill 333, sponsored by Senator David Koehler, would allow victims of rape and sexual assault to prioritize their medical treatment. Koehler says survivors often don’t seek medical treatment because they fear law enforcement will immediately be notified, which he says causes fear of retaliation from the abuser. Koehler’s bill would allow for delayed reporting by giving survivors the ability to provide consent to notify police. If they refuse, the police will be notified once the treatment has ended. The measure would also allow the patient to protect his or her identity in the police report.

Tracy says the measure allows abusers to escape prosecution more easily: “We’re putting a tremendous burden on hospital care workers over trained police officers. The best thing we can do for a victim of abuse that finds themselves in this situation is to put away the perpetrator of the crime. This 24-hour time lapse presents a huge opportunity for the loss of very important evidence – evidence that would be lost in an alley, evidence that would be lost in a home, evidence that can be destroyed or covered up by the perpetrator. It’s a dangerous avenue to follow. We certainly want the victim to be properly taken care of, to honor their wishes; but the best thing we can do and what we’ve tried to do over the years is to empower the victim over their perpetrator of their crimes.”

The Senate voted in favor of Koehler’s measure 31-22, along party lines with Tracy and State Senator Steve McClure of Springfield voting no. Democrat State Senator Doris Turner of Springfield voted present.

The bill now heads to the House for consideration where 91st District State Representative Sharon Chung of Bloomington is the chief sponsor.