Predatory criminal sexual assault of a child is an Illinois sex crime that addresses victims under the age of 13. In general terms, Illinois law prohibits any person aged 17 years or older from engaging in sexual acts with this type of victim. These laws exist to protect younger children from sexual predators. Only specific types of conduct qualify as predatory criminal sexual assault of a child under Illinois law.
What is the Definition of Predatory Criminal Sexual Assault of a Child?
The definition of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child appears under 720 ILCS 5/11-1.40. The standard version of this criminal offense applies whenever a person who is at least 17 years old commits:
- An act of sexual penetration against a victim who is under 13 years old; or
- An act of sexual contact, however slight, with a victim who is under 13 years old.
If the purpose of the act is the sexual gratification of either the perpetrator or the victim, it can qualify as predatory criminal sexual assault of a child under Illinois law.
In addition to the standard version of this offense, Section 5/11-1.40 also provides specific versions of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child that can result in additional penalties. These slightly different versions of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child apply when the perpetrator also:
- Possesses a firearm;
- Discharges a firearm;
- Causes serious physical injury, disability, or a risk of death; or
- Delivers illegal drugs using threats or deception.
What is the Punishment for Predatory Criminal Sexual Assault of a Child?
The punishment for predatory criminal sexual assault of a child also appears under Section 5/11-1.40. Illinois law classifies both the standard and specific versions of this offense as a Class X felony. Upon conviction for this offense, the perpetrator will spend between six and 60 years in prison and face up to $25,000 in fines. Probation is not available for Class X felonies in Illinois.
That being said, Section 5/11-1.40 also establishes other penalties for specific versions of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child. For example, if the offense involved:
- Possession of a Firearm — Then the prison sentence will increase by 15 years;
- Discharge of a Firearm — Then the prison sentence will increase by 20 years;
- Delivery of Illegal Drugs — Then the prison sentence will be between 50 and 60 years; or
- Injury, Disability, or Risk of Death — Then the prison sentence will increase to 50 years to life imprisonment.
There is an exception to the punishment schemes described above. If the perpetrator is 17 years old at the time of the offense, they will face juvenile sentencing under 730 ILCS 5/5-4.5-105.
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.