(CBS) — A Plainfield mother has taken up the fight to change what she sees as a loophole in the state’s child sex abuse laws, after her daughter’s experience with the justice system in Will County.
WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports Tina’s daughter was only 15 when she was molested by a neighbor. WBBM is identifying her mother only by her first name to protect the child’s identity.
“What he did was fondled her up top, touched her below, took her hand and pleasured himself,” she said.
That man was charged with battery. A prosecutor told Tina that was the best they could get.
“It’s like he got in a bar fight. That does not serve its purpose of what he did,” Tina said.
Sexual exploitation charges were added later, because the suspect’s toddler allegedly was present at the time. Those charges were dismissed.
What got Tina was when the judge said he thought the case should have been a felony.
“I squealed in court,” she said.
Prosecutors have said such cases are tough, and they seek charges they can prove.
In this case, the defendant served a few months behind bars.
Tina said her daughter is “very uncomfortable” having that man back at his home.
She was trying to convince state lawmakers to add a sexual element to the crime of battery, when warranted, to give prosecutors a new option.
However, she’s running into opposition, because the measure she’s pushing would only be a misdemeanor.