Often deemed the world’s oldest profession, prostitution has deep roots in human history. From the Bible to other ancient texts, there are numerous mentions of prostitutes and companions who provided sex in exchange for money. Under Illinois law, however, prostitution is illegal and punishable by criminal penalties. It is also illegal to engage in solicitation, which is the offer to pay for sexual acts.
Illinois Laws and Penalties for Prostitution
Under 720 ILCS 5/11-14, it is illegal to engage in prostitution in Illinois. Under the law, prostitution is defined as the intentional performance of sexual acts in exchange for money or other valuable consideration. Section 5/11-14 includes sexual penetration and touching or fondling of sexual organs.
Any person who engages in prostitution in Illinois is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor. In most cases, the penalties for a Class A misdemeanor include up to 364 days in jail, $2,500 in fines and 24 months of probation.
That being said, Section 5/11-14 also provides several exceptions to Illinois prostitution laws. In the following situations, the alleged prostitute can avoid criminal prosecution:
- Human Trafficking: If the offender was forced to perform sexual acts for money against their will, then it does not qualify as prostitution; and
- Minor Children: If the offender is under 18 years old, they are immune from prosecution for prostitution and will be delivered into temporary protective custody.
Illinois Laws and Penalties for Solicitation
Under 720 ILCS 5/11-14.1, it is illegal to engage in solicitation. Under the law, solicitation is defined as the offer for sex in exchange for money, property, tokens, objects, articles, or other things of value. Section 5/11-14.1 includes offers to pay for sexual penetration and touching or fondling of sexual organs.
Any person who engages in solicitation in Illinois is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor, punishable as described above. If a person solicits a sexual act from a minor under 18 years old — or an individual with a profound intellectual disability — the crime becomes a Class 4 felony. In most cases, the penalties for a Class A misdemeanor include 12 to 36 months in jail, $25,000 in fines and 30 months of probation.
That being said, Section 5/11-14.1 outlines an affirmative defense for solicitation of a minor child or disabled individual. If the offender reasonably believed that the prostitute was above 18 years old and of normal intellectual capacity, then they may be able to avoid felony charges.
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.
(image courtesy of Lucas Favre)