Dec 29

Despite recent allegations of sexual misconduct, a famous conductor with ties to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra will not face criminal charges in Illinois, according to an article by the Chicago Tribune. The conductor denies these allegations and continues to maintain his innocence.

In the past month, the Lake Forest Police Department received several claims of sexual misconduct concerning the conductor. Several of the acts described occurred approximately 30 years ago, between 1986 and 1987, when one victim was only 16 years old.

After conducting a thorough investigation into these allegations, the Lake Forest Police Department was unable to find substantive evidence of misconduct. As a result, the conductor will not face criminal charges at this time.

In light of these recent allegations of sexual misconduct, it seems appropriate to review the Illinois legal approach to sex crimes. To that end, the following sections will explore the characteristics of criminal sexual abuse, criminal sexual assault, and predatory criminal sexual assault.

What is the Illinois Definition of Criminal Sexual Abuse?

As detailed in 720 ILCS 5/11-1.50, criminal sexual abuse is a broad sex crime. The presence of any type of unwanted sexual conduct, even in the absence of penetration, can qualify. The perpetrator can use force or the threat of force to carry out the crime. If the victim does not knowingly consent, then it is a crime. Criminal sexual abuse is generally a felony crime. Though in certain cases, it can be a misdemeanor crime.

What is the Illinois Definition of Criminal Sexual Assault?

As outlined in 720 ILCS 5/11-1.20, criminal sexual assault must involve sexual penetration without the victim’s consent. Unlike criminal sexual abuse, the presence of slight sexual contact does qualify. The penalties for criminal sexual assault are extremely harsh. A single conviction is a Class 1 felony crime with a mandatory prison term. A second or subsequent conviction can result in a life sentence.

What is the Illinois Definition of Predatory Criminal Sexual Assault?

As established in 720 ILCS 5/11-1.40, predatory criminal sexual assault deals with both slight sexual contact and actual penetration. The key to this crime involves several age requirements. Predatory criminal sexual assault only applies if the victim is under 13 years old and the perpetrator is over 16 years old. In most cases, predatory criminal sexual assault is a Class X felony in Illinois. But the presence of certain aggravating factors can increase the severity of the penalties.

Do You Need Legal Help?

No matter what the criminal offense, all criminal 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 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 or by completing an online form.

(image courtesy of Arindam Mahanta)