Under Illinois law, criminal sexual abuse occurs when a perpetrator engages in sexual conduct or sexual penetration without the victim’s consent. Similarly, it is unlawful for a perpetrator to force a victim into sexual conduct or penetration. Illinois law also provides specific protections for victims who are minor children.
From a legal standpoint, there are essentially two different types of criminal sexual abuse under 720 ILCS 5/11-1.50. This section prohibits criminal sexual abuse based on age difference between perpetrator and victim and use of force or lack of consent.
Age Difference Between Perpetrator and Victim
In certain cases, a person can commit criminal sexual abuse based on age difference between the perpetrator and victim. Specifically, Illinois law prohibits any act of sexual conduct or penetration when the:
- Perpetrator is less than 17 years old, and victim is between 9 and 17 years old; or
- Victim is between 13 and 17 years old, and perpetrator is less than five years older than the victim.
Criminal sexual abuse based on the age difference between the perpetrator and victim is a Class A misdemeanor. A conviction for this offense can result in up to 364 days in jail, $2,500 in fines and 24 months of probation.
Use of Force or Lack of Consent
In other cases, a person can commit criminal sexual abused based on use of force or lack of consent. In precise terms, Illinois law prohibits any act of sexual conduct when the perpetrator:
- Coerces the victim through the use of force or the threat of force; or
- Engages the victim with knowledge that the victim can not provide consent.
Criminal sexual abuse based on use of force or lack of consent is a Class 4 felony. in Illinois. A conviction for this offense can result in one to three years in jail, $25,000 in fines and 30 months of probation.
A second or subsequent conviction for this type of criminal sexual abuse is a Class 2 felony. At that level, the typical punishment includes three to seven years in jail, $25,000 in fines and 48 months of probation.
In terms of determining whether the subsequent offender penalties apply, Illinois law provides a broad standard. Any previous conviction for criminal sexual abuse or criminal sexual assault — or a violation of a similar statute in Illinois or any other U.S. state — qualifies as a previous conviction in this context.
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 calling (309) 827-4300, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or completing an online form.
(image courtesy of Andrew Kambel)