Illinois Cracks Down on Child Abductions

Filed under: In The News

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The Chicago Tribune reported last year on how -- out of 530 attempted child abductions by strangers in Chicago and Cook County suburbs during a two-year period -- only 30 of the would-be abductors were ever prosecuted.

And only seven did any jail time.

Someone must still be reading newspapers. Illinois lawmakers, moved by the Tribune's coverage, cracked down on child predators with a new law that clearly defines the crime of child abduction and requires sex offender evaluation for anyone charged with the crime.

"We must stand up strong against the violence and crime that destroys communities," Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn said when signing the bill into law July 21.

The Tribune reports the new laws will make it easier for prosecutors to nail would-be abductors by expressly making a crime "any knowing act to solicit, entice, tempt or attempt to attract the minor" into a car or building without the "express consent" of the child's parent or guardian.

The new law also defines child abduction, for the first time, as a sex crime.

According to the Tribune, in addition to the reforms sign by Quinn this week, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan is preparing legislative proposals that will require first-time offenders convicted of luring a minor to register as sex offenders and have their photos and criminal records posted online.

Registration is now required only after the second conviction.

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.