The mere accusation of sexual assault can be devastating to your career, your family, and your future – and that’s before the accusation ever makes it in front of a jury. It is for this reason that you need an experienced attorney by your side. It is also crucial that you have a clear understanding of what the prosecution must prove to convict you. With that in mind, a Chicago criminal defense attorney explains the Illinois sexual assault laws.
What Is Criminal Sexual Assault in Illinois?
Governed by Sec. 11-1.20 of the Illinois Compiled Statutes, the offense of criminal sexual assault requires an act of sexual penetration AND one of the following:
- The use or threat of force.
- The knowledge that the victim is unable to understand the nature of the act or is unable to give knowing consent.
- You are a family member of the victim, and the victim is under 18 years of age.
- You are 17 years of age or over and you hold a position of trust, authority, or supervision of the victim, and the victim is at least 13 years of age but under 18 years of age.
Criminal sexual abuse in Illinois is charged as a Class 1 felony unless the defendant has a prior conviction for sexual assault. The offense carries a potential sentence of four to 15 years in prison if convicted. Because criminal sexual assault is an offense that is not eligible for probation, you will be sentenced to a minimum of four years if convicted. While the term “sexual assault” is a broader reference to a class of crimes, the State of Illinois’ 2013-14 Uniform Crime Report showed the occurrence of over 8,000 rapes. If you have a previous conviction for criminal sexual abuse, a second or subsequent offense is charged as a Class X felony.
What Is Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse in Illinois?
There are three different ways in which an accusation of criminal sexual assault can be elevated to aggravated criminal sexual assault in Illinois:
- When a defendant commits criminal sexual assault (as defined above) and at least one of the following aggravating circumstances existed during the commission of the crime:
- Displaying, threatening to use, or using a dangerous weapon.
- Causing bodily harm to the victim.
- Acting in a manner that threatens or endangers the life of the victim or any other person.
- The criminal sexual assault was committed while committing another felony.
- The victim is 60 years old or older.
- The victim has a physical disability.
- The defendant delivers a controlled substance to the victim without the victim’s consent or by threat or deception for other than medical purposes.
- The defendant is armed with a firearm.
- The defendant discharges a firearm.
- If the defendant is under 17 years of age and:
- Performs an act of sexual penetration with a victim under nine years of age OR
- Performs an act of sexual penetration with a victim who is at least nine years of age but under 13 years of age, and the defendant uses force or threat of force to commit the act
- If the defendant commits an act of sexual penetration with a victim who is a person with a severe or profound intellectual disability.
Aggravated criminal sexual abuse is seen as a Class X felony in Illinois. If convicted, you face a possible sentence of six to 30 years with the potential for an extended sentence of up to life in prison.
Contact a Chicago Criminal Sexual Assault Defense Attorney Today
If you have been accused of breaking Illinois criminal sexual abuse laws, you must not delay in retaining an experienced attorney. It is crucial that you immediately start protecting your rights, your reputation, and your future immediately. Contact Mitchell S. Sexner & Associates LLC today by calling (312) 644-0444 or by filling out our online contact form.
This blog is available for informational purposes only and is not considered legal advice on any subject matter. The blog should not be used as a substitute for legal advice from a licensed professional attorney, and readers are urged to consult their own legal counsel on specific legal questions.