Jul 10

Even though prostitution has long-standing history in human societies, it is a criminal offense in the State of Illinois. Any person who commits a sexual act in exchange for anything of value can face serious consequences, including jail time and criminal fines. Though Illinois law does have special considerations for victims of human trafficking and involuntary servitude as well as minor children engaged in prostitution. 


What are the Illinois Laws Against Prostitution?


720 ILCS 5/11-14 establishes the Illinois laws against prostitution. Under this section, a person commits prostitution if they knowingly:

  • Offer or agree to perform an act of sexual penetration; or
  • Offer or agree to touch or fondle for the purposes of sexual arousal; and
  • Receive anything of value in consideration for offering or agreeing to perform these acts. 

Illinois law under 720 ILCS 5/11-0.1 provides a specific definition of the term sexual penetration. This term refers to any contact or intrusion — no matter how slight — between the sexual organs of different people or objects. 


Examples of sexual penetration include fellatio and cunnilingus as well as vaginal and anal penetration. Sexual penetration does not require the presence or emission of semen under Illinois law. 


How Does Illinois Punish Prostitution?


Section 11-14 also provides the Illinois punishment for prostitution offenses. Any person who commits this offense can be charged with a Class A misdemeanor. If convicted of this charge, the maximum sentence includes $2,500 in fines and 364 days in jail. 


That being said, there is an affirmative defense available in prostitution cases. If a person can show that they were involved in prostitution merely as a victim of human trafficking involuntary servitude, it can be a valid defense under Illinois law. 


Does Illinois Have Special Rules for Child Prostitutes?


In short, yes. Section 11-14 does outline special rules for minor children engaged in prostitution. If an alleged offender is under 18 years old, they are immune from prosecution for prostitution. Instead, such a minor child is subject to temporary protective custody, in accordance with the Juvenile Court Act of 1987.


Furthermore, any law enforcement agent who takes custody of a minor child suspected of prostitution must also file a report. Then the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services State Central Register must commence an investigation into child abuse or neglect within 24 hours. 


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.