Once effective, House Bill 2135 removes the three-year timeline for victims to report sexual assault and similar crimes to the appropriate authorities. Additionally, the 10-year limit for prosecuting sexual assault crimes will also disappear.
Considering the potentially sweeping impact of this new law, it feels like a great time to assess Illinois laws against standard and aggravated criminal sexual assault.
Criminal Sexual Assault
720 ILCS 5/11-1.20 provides the Illinois definition of criminal sexual assault. Under this section, criminal sexual assault only occurs when there is an act of sexual penetration. Additionally, Section 11-1.20 requires that the victim was:
- Subject to force or the threat of force during the act;
- Unable to understand the act or provide knowing consent;
- Under the age of 18 years old a family member of the perpetrator;
- Between the ages of 13 and 17 years old and under the authority, supervision, or trust of the perpetrator.
Typically, Section 11-1.20 categorizes criminal sexual assault as a Class 1 felony. But in particularly extreme cases, the perpetrator can face additional penalties or even Class X felony charges.
Aggravated Criminal Sexual Assault
- The victim is at least 60 years old;
- The victim has a physical disability or similar impairment;
- The victim has a profound intellectual disability;
- The victim is under 9 years old, and the perpetrator is under 17 years old;
- The victim is between 9 and 12 years old, and the perpetrator is under 17 years old and used force to complete the act;
- The perpetrator brandishes, threatens to use, or uses a dangerous weapon;
- The perpetrator causes physical harm or injury to the victim;
- The perpetrator threatens or endangers human life;
- The perpetrator commits another felony at the same time;
- The perpetrator administers an illegal drug to the victim without consent;
- The perpetrator has possession of a firearm;
- The perpetrator discharges a firearm during the act; or
- The perpetrator discharges a firearm and causes physical injury, disability, disfigurement, or death.
Usually, Section 11-1.30 classifies aggravated criminal sexual assault as a Class X felony. Though there are additional, mandatory penalties for certain types of aggravated criminal sexual assault, including firearm-related offenses.
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 email@example.com or by completing an online form.