Dillard: Senate advances common sense bill targeting individuals who seek to lure older children
Introduced in response to recommendations of the DuPage County State’s Attorney, on May 22 the General Assembly advanced legislation sponsored by State Sen. Kirk Dillard (R-Hinsdale) to allow for felony prosecution of people who attempt to lure older children into their motor vehicle while the child is traveling to or from school.
Dillard explained that House Bill 5265 was co-sponsored by his colleague Sen. John Millner (R-Carol Stream), who previously served as the Elmhurst Police Chief. The bill was introduced in response to a case in DuPage County, where a 17 year-old was on her way to school, and was approached by a sex offender who tried to lure her into his van. Though the van was stopped by police, law enforcement officials could only charge the individual with disorderly conduct because the state’s current child luring law only applies to minors who are younger than 16 years of age.
“Obviously there are 16 and 17 year-olds who are juniors and seniors in high school. They are children, and they need to be protected, too,” said Dillard. “This legislation ensures that an individual who is caught preying on children walking to school will be punished accordingly.”
If signed into law, House Bill 5265 will allow for felony prosecution of individuals who lure or attempt to lure a child age 17 and younger while the child is traveling to or from a primary or secondary school. The bill also amends the offense of child abduction with regards to intentionally luring or attempting to lure a child into a motor vehicle, building, house trailer or dwelling, without a parent’s or guardian’s permission, by changing the applicable age of a child from “under the age of 16” to “under the age of 17.”