SPRINGFIELD -- The Illinois House voted unanimously Wednesday to criminalize sexual conduct with a corpse.

SPRINGFIELD -- The Illinois House voted unanimously Wednesday to criminalize sexual conduct with a corpse.

House Bill 5122 also would make it a felony to move a dead body without authorization.

The bill’s chief sponsor, Rep. Daniel Beiser, D-Alton, said he had received complaints from prosecutors and county coroners in Madison County that some people have moved the bodies of people who had overdosed on drugs. That contaminates a crime scene, Beiser said.

Beiser said the section criminalizing sexual conduct with a corpse was added in response to a case in Madison County from the 1990s. Today, such a person can be charged only with criminal damage to property.

“The death of a loved one is bad enough,” Beiser said. “It should be much more than criminal damage to property.”

Exemptions to the prohibition against moving a corpse apply to employees at a medical examiner/coroner’s office, licensed funeral directors, and personnel responding to medical emergencies.

David Thomas can be reached at (217) 782-6292.