(WTVO) — A handful of new Illinois laws that deal with sex offenses will go into effect Jan. 1.
The first, filed as House Bill 4593, places the burden of proof on a defendant accused of soliciting sex from a minor or intellectually disabled person and claims they did not know the victim was a minor or disabled.
Anyone who uses the defense must prove they were unaware of the age or disability status of the victim. Currently, that burden of proof is on the state. Gov. JB Pritzker signed the bill into law on May 27.
The second law pertains to when a victim of sexual assault is unable to give consent after taking intoxicating substances. The law, signed on June 16, clarifies the current definition of “unable to give knowing consent” by adding that the survivor is unable to consent even if they voluntarily become intoxicated.
Under the current law, the offender must have provided an intoxicating substance to the victim to be charged with sexual assault.
The third provision, also signed on May 27, prohibits anyone convicted of sexually abusing a child from working at carnivals, fairs, or amusement facilities when people younger than 18 are present. Currently, the law only pertains to day cares and facilities that provide before-and after-school programs for minors.
The fourth law expands the list of mandatory reporters–professionals required to report child abuse or neglect.
Signed into law on May 13, Senate Bill 3833 expands the list of professionals who are required to report suspicions of child abuse or neglect. Starting Jan. 1 the list will include occupational therapists and assistants, physical therapists and assistants, and athletic trainers.