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Illinois to change sex-abuse law with help of Hastert victim

Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert.

CHICAGO (AP) _ Illinois is set to eliminate the statute of limitations in child sex abuse cases through legislation passed with support from a victim of imprisoned former U.S. Rep. Dennis Hastert.

The Illinois House unanimously approved the measure on Thursday, sending it to a supportive Gov. Bruce Rauner.

Attorney General Lisa Madigan says Hastert’s case provided a prime example of why the law should be changed.

The former U.S. House speaker was sentenced to 15 months in prison in 2016 for violating banking laws while trying to silence a victim he abused when he was a teacher and coach in suburban Chicago decades ago. The statute of limitations prevented prosecutors from charging Hastert with sex abuse.

Last fall, victim Scott Cross told lawmakers Hastert was a “monster” who wasn’t appropriately punished.