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CAHOKIA, Ill. (AP) - An Illinois lawmaker wants to change the state's new concealed-carry law to ban guns in places of worship.
The law bars concealed weapons from schools, courthouses, government buildings, libraries and public transit. But churches, mosques and synagogues must to post signs if they don't want people carrying guns onto the property.
Democratic Sen. Dan Kotowski of Park Ridge has introduced an amendment to change that, saying houses of worship "should be off-limits."
Pastor Charles Burton of Unity Fellowship Church in Godfrey supports the amendment, saying he refuses "to be governed by fear." But Pastor Cory Respondek of Living Water Church in Cahokia says churches should be able to decide for themselves.
The law was passed July 9 to comply with a federal appeals court ruling striking down Illinois' last-in-the-nation ban.
A 21-year-old Lincoln County man is facing charges for statutory rape after allegedly having sex with a 15-year-old girl.
The Sheriff's Department says they started investigating Elsberry resident Trever Sawyer July 23. Officials say the victim showed officers a string of messages from Sawyer that confirmed the rape. There were also allegedly instructions from Sawyer on how to destroy the messages.
After his arrest, Sawyer said he was suicidal. He has been taken to a hospital for evaluation.
An admitted sex offender is charged for allegedly molesting a nine-year-old girl.
Police say the girl identified 48-year-old Hershel Brown--who is a family friend--as the abuser. The incident allegedly happened late last month. Brown faces several sex crimes charges, including failing to register as a sex offender. He pleaded guilty to forcible rape in 2003 and was sentenced to seven years in prison.
Hershel is being held on a $100,000 bond.