Illinois Law Protecting Children From Facing Alleged Abuser Goes Into Effect Jan. 1

Illinois Law Protecting Children From Facing Alleged Abuser Goes Into Effect Jan. 1
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Illinois Law Protecting Children From Facing Alleged Abuser Goes Into Effect Jan. 1 (via The Center Square) — Children will not have to confront their alleged abusers in court with a new Illinois law beginning Jan. 1.

House Bill 2607 was introduced by state Rep. Adam Niemerg, R-Dieterich, and states a child under 13 years of age shall testify outside the courtroom when warranted, though testimony would be provided through closed circuit TV.

Niemerg told The Center Square that the law is about protecting children.

“The gist of it is that it’s to help children who are victims of sexual assault and to give them better opportunities to have their voices heard in a court of law,” Niemerg said.

The measure received little pushback during legislative debates. Niemerg said that he and other legislators felt the need to get this measure into law.

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“This needed change,” Niemerg said. “I have had wide support from the entire legislature to do this. I had tremendous support.”

Niemerg went on to say that this law is something he can look back on and be proud of the change it has made.

“I’m not done yet, but I can look back and say that this was something that was very important,” Niemerg said. “This was something that helped a lot of people.”

The provisions in the measure can only be removed if the defendant proves the child will not suffer emotional distress by providing testimony in the courtroom.

Illinois Law Protecting Children From Facing Alleged Abuser Goes Into Effect Jan. 1

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