A man from Normal, Illinois was sentenced to 300 years in prison for six counts of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child, according to an article by The Pantagraph. In exchange for his December guilty plea, prosecutors dropped 13 other charges, including aggravated criminal sexual abuse.
Accordingly to court documents, all of these crimes involved the same child victim, occurring across several incidents and spanning several years. The Illinois man initiated sexual contact with the victim approximately 30 times.
Based on the severity of these offenses, Eleventh Circuit Court Judge Casey Costigan determined that a severe punishment was appropriate and applied a 50-year sentence for each count. The Illinois man must serve these sentences consecutively, which means release is highly unlikely.
In the aftermath of this trial and sentencing, it seems fitting to review the Illinois laws against and punishment for predatory criminal sexual assault of a child.
What are the Illinois Laws Against Predatory Criminal Sexual Assault of a Child?
720 ILCS 5/11-1.40 establishes the Illinois laws against predatory criminal sexual assault of a child. Under Illinois law, there are two elements to this offense.
First, the perpetrator must be at least 17 years old and commit an act of sexual contact with a victim. In this context, sexual contact can be minor or major, up to and including sexual penetration.
Second, the victim must be younger than 13 years old. Though there are different penalties for this offense if the perpetrator also:
- Possesses a firearm;
- Discharges a firearm;
- Forces the injection, inhalation, or ingestion of a controlled substance; or
- Causes severe physical harm, permanent disability, or life-threatening injury.
How Does Illinois Punish Predatory Criminal Sexual Assault of a Child?
Section 11-1.40 also provides the Illinois punishment for predatory criminal sexual assault of a child. Under this section, predatory criminal sexual assault of a child is a Class X felony.
Ordinarily, the Illinois punishment for a Class X felony includes a sentencing range between six and 30 years, an extended term of 30 to 60 years, and criminal fines up to $25,000. Illinois law does not enable probation or conditional discharge for Class X felonies, including predatory criminal sexual assault of a child.
That being said, Section 11-1.40 does create special penalties for offenses that involved:
- Firearm Possession — The prison sentence increases by 15 years;
- Firearm Discharge — The prison sentence increases by 20 years;
- Controlled Substance — The prison sentence increases to 50 to 60 years; or
- Harm, Disability, Injury — The prison sentence increases by 50 years to life.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or by completing an online form.