Apr 15

Prostitution is a sexual offense under the Illinois Criminal Code. Typically, this offense requires a person to perform — or offer or agree to perform — an act of sexual conduct or penetration. In addition, a prostitution offender must receive or agree to receive money or similar consideration in exchange for performing sexual acts. 

What are the Illinois Laws Against Prostitution?

The Illinois laws against prostitution appear under 720 ILCS 5/11-14. This section prohibits any person from knowingly:

  • Performing or offering or agreeing to perform any act of sexual penetration; or
  • Touching or fondling sex organs for the purpose of sexual arousal or gratification; and
  • Receiving anything of value in exchange.

In terms of assessing this offense, it is important to understand the Illinois definition of “sexual penetration” under 720 ILCS 5/11-0.1. This section defines sexual penetration as:

  • Any contact, no matter how slight, between the sex organ or anus of one person and an object or the sex organ, mouth, or anus of another person; or
  • Any intrusion, no matter how slight, of a person, animal, or object into the sex organ or anus of another person. 

Examples of sexual penetration under Section 11-0.1 include but are not necessarily limited to cunnilingus, fellatio, and anal penetration. Furthermore, sexual penetration under Section 11-0.1 does not require the emission of any semen. 

Are there Exceptions to Illinois Laws Against Prostitution?

Section 11-14 does establish important exceptions to prostitution offenses in Illinois. 

First, an alleged offender may claim an affirmative defense against criminal charges of prostitution. This affirmative defense applies if the alleged offender engaged in or performed prostitution as a result of:

  • Involuntary servitude; or
  • Human trafficking.

Second, a person is immune from prostitution charges if they are under the age of 18 years old. When an underage minor is suspected of or charged with prostitution, they are subject to temporary protective custody under the Juvenile Court Act. When a law enforcement officer takes such a person into custody, the following requirements apply:

  • Report an allegation of involuntary servitude or human trafficking to the Department of Children and Family Services State Central Register; and
  • Start a child abuse or child neglect investigation within 24 hours, pursuant to the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act.

How Does Illinois Punish Prostitution?

The Illinois punishment for prostitution also appears under Section 11-14. This section classifies prostitution as a Class A misdemeanor

Any person convicted of a Class A misdemeanor in Illinois can face a maximum punishment of 12 months in county jail and $2,500 in criminal fines. 

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.