Oct 18

Sexual abuse and sexual assault are two different sex crimes under Illinois law. While there are many similarities between these two offenses, Illinois law defines and punishes them separately. To understand the nuances between these crimes, the following sections will examine several relevant Illinois statutes. 

What are the Illinois Laws Against Criminal Sexual Abuse?

720 ILCS 5/11-1.50 exhibits the Illinois laws against criminal sexual abuse. There are two different versions of this crime under Section 11-1.50. 

One version of criminal sexual abuse revolves around the ages of the perpetrator and the victim. This version applies when there is sexual conduct or penetration and:

  • The perpetrator is under 17 years old, and the victim is between 9 and 16 years old; or
  • The victim is between 13 and 16 years old, and the perpetrator is less than five years older than the victim. 

The other version of criminal sexual abuse centers on force and consent. This version applies when there is an act of sexual conduct and the perpetrator:

  • Uses force or the threat of force to complete the sexual conduct; or
  • Knows that the victim is unable to either provide consent or understood the nature of the sexual conduct.

What is the Illinois Punishment for Criminal Sexual Abuse?

The Illinois punishment for criminal sexual abuse also appears under Section 11-1.50. For offenses related to the ages of the perpetrator and victim, criminal sexual abuse is typically a Class A misdemeanor. Upon conviction, the perpetrator can face a maximum of 364 days in jail, $2,500 in fines, and up to 24 months of probation. 

If the perpetrator uses force, or the victim is unable to understand or provide consent, criminal sexual abuse is usually punishable as follows:

  • First Offense — Results in Class 4 felony charges and the possibility of one to three years in prison, $25,000 in fines, and up to 30 months of probation; or
  • Second or Subsequent Offense — Results in Class 2 felony charges and the possibility of three to seven years in prison, $25,000 in fines, and up to 48 months of probation.

What are the Illinois Laws Against Criminal Sexual Assault?

720 ILCS 5/11-1.20 demonstrates the Illinois laws against criminal sexual assault. This crimes applies when there is an act of sexual penetration and the perpetrator:

  • Uses force or the threat of force to complete the act;
  • Knows that the victim is unable to either provide consent or understood the nature of the act;
  • Is a family member of the victim, who is under 18 years old;
  • Hold a position of authority, trust, or supervision over the victim, who is between 13 and 17 years old. 

What is the Illinois Punishment for Criminal Sexual Assault?

The Illinois punishment for criminal sexual assault also appears under Section 11-1.20. Ordinarily, this offense is punishable as a Class 1 felony. Upon conviction, the perpetrator can face four to 15 years in prison, $25,000 in fines, and up to 48 months of probation. 

On the other hand, certain aggravating factors can turn criminal sexual assault into a Class X felony. At that level, the perpetrator can face six to 30 years in prison and $25,000 in fines. Probation is not available for Class X felonies in Illinois. 

Do You Need Legal Help?

No matter what the criminal offense, all charges are serious. A sound strategy and an aggressive defense are essential for a positive outcome. To protect your rights in such situations, it is highly advisable to retain legal counsel from an experienced criminal defense attorney.

The Prior Law Firm in Bloomington, Illinois, has proven experience in matters of criminal defense. If you need legal help with criminal defense, contact us today for a free consultation. You can reach The Prior Law Firm by phone at (309) 827-4300, email at johnprior@thepriorlawfirm.com or by completing an online form.