Rep. Keicher, Colleagues Introduce Bill Package to Protect Human Trafficking Victims

Today, State Representative Jeff Keicher (R-Sycamore) was joined by fellow Representatives Nicole La Ha (R-Homer Glen), Jennifer Sanalitro (R-Hanover Park), and Brad Stephens (R-Rosemont) to introduce a package of legislation to combat human trafficking and support victims.

“Human trafficking and exploitation are much more pervasive problems than many of us realize, and it can happen in any community regardless of size or location,” said Keicher. “This often-overlooked form of modern-day slavery affects people of all ages and races, regardless of gender, and despite some recent progress, our state is failing when it comes to preventing these horrific crimes and helping victims heal.”

This issue has been something personal for Keicher since joining the General Assembly, as a family member who was abused as a child tragically died due to a lack of resources to help victims recover.

“As part of the package of legislation I proposed with my colleagues today, I’m proud to carry House Bill 5465,” continued Keicher. “This legislation builds on a law we passed last year by creating an easier process for child victims of sex trafficking to have their juvenile records expunged or sealed as a result of any criminal acts they were forced to take part in while being abused. One of the first steps in helping someone heal after immense trauma like sexual abuse is ensuring their past doesn’t follow them around, and I believe this legislation is an important component of helping victims heal.”

As Keicher noted, Illinois is currently failing in several areas to address human trafficking and sexual exploitation. According to Illinois’ Report Card on Child & Youth Sex Trafficking, as compiled by Shared Hope International, an organization that tracks and promotes legislative action to address child sex trafficking, Illinois receives an F for our current laws to address this horrific problem.

In addition to HB 5465, which builds on Public Act 103-35 that Keicher carried through the General Assembly last year and is now law, the legislation proposed today includes:

  • House Bill 5466, introduced by Rep. La Ha, removes the defense of mistaken age for the offense of patronizing a minor engaged in prostitution.
  • House Bill 5467, also from Rep. La Ha, removes the statute of limitations for prosecutions of involuntary servitude, involuntary sexual servitude of a minor, or trafficking in persons and related offenses when the victim is under 18 years of age at the time of the offense.
  • House Bill 5134 from Rep. La Ha requires those convicted of trafficking in persons, involuntary servitude, and involuntary sexual servitude of a minor to register as a sex offender. 
  • House Bill 5468, introduced by Rep. Sanalitro, creates a defense for victims of human trafficking who commit a crime because of being trafficked. The law requires the persons who are harmed to prove they are victims of human trafficking.
  • House Bill 5469, also from Rep. Sanalito, creates the Human Trafficking Order of Protection Act. This Act allows victims of human trafficking to obtain orders of protection against their traffickers. 
  • House Bill 5470, introduced by Rep. Stephens, adds additional language – “patronize” – to involuntary sexual servitude of a minor to ensure buyers are held accountable as sex trafficking offenders. 

Rep. Keicher and his colleagues also noted during the press conference how important it is to raise awareness by requesting that members of the media and public utilize the National Human Trafficking Hotline, 888-373-7888, to report any suspected trafficking taking place in their communities.

Rep. Keicher serves the 70th District, which includes portions of DeKalb, Kane, and McHenry Counties. For more information about Rep. Keicher, visit