Child Sexual Abuse in IL: Just the Facts
Child sexual abuse charges are serious. A conviction for this crime can send someone to prison in Illinois for decades. That’s why if you or someone you love is facing these significant charges, you not only need an experienced attorney, but you also need to know what these charges mean.
Criminal sexual abuse in Illinois isn’t simply one crime, but many different types of acts. The more people understand these types of laws the better prepared they can be if they are ever charged with a crime involving sexual abuse or assault on a child.
Here is what you need to know about criminal sexual abuse in Illinois.
What Is Criminal Sexual Abuse in Illinois?
Under Illinois law, criminal sexual abuse is a crime that is similar to criminal sexual assault but just slightly different. Criminal sexual abuse does not involve penetration but instead involves criminal sexual conduct crimes where the threat of force or force is used such as molestation.
When a child is the victim of these crimes, it’s clear that they can legally not consent to it or were forced to engage in the act. That makes this crime a Class 4 felony in Illinois. If a person is convicted of a Class 4 felony for this crime, then they can be sent to prison for up to three years. But if the accused has prior convictions on their criminal record, then they can be sentenced to as many as seven years in prison upon conviction.
One part of the law that is interesting to note is that criminal sexual abuse can involve penetration, but only in cases where it is perpetrated by a minor. For perpetrators that are under the age of 17 with victims between the ages of 9 and 16 or victims between 13 and 16 with perpetrators who are less than five years their senior, this crime can be charged. However, it’s often considered a Class A misdemeanor in these cases, which can result in up to 12 months of imprisonment.
Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse
Criminal sexual abuse can also be an aggravated crime. That means that aggravating factors are a part of the case, which can drive the crime up to a Class 2 felony and make the penalties even higher – up to seven years imprisonment.
Aggravating factors in these cases include things such as:
- A victim younger than 17 with a family member as the perpetrator
- A victim between 9 and 16 who is abused by the threat of force or by force
- A victim who is under age 12 with the age of the perpetrator being 17 or higher
- A victim 8 or younger and a perpetrator who is under the age of 17
The penalties faced can vary, especially in cases where the crime is perpetrated by a family member.
Other Sex Crimes Against Children in Illinois
There are several other crimes a person can be charged with involving children and sexual abuse in Illinois. They include:
- Criminal sexual assault – This Class 1 felony can put a person in prison for up to 15 years, but can be considered a Class X felony in some cases where the accused has a previous criminal history.
- Aggravated criminal sexual assault – This is a Class X felony in Illinois, which can put a person in prison for up to life in some situations.
- Predatory criminal sexual assault – Also a Class X felony in Illinois, this is a serious crime.
About the Author:
Andrew M. Weisberg is a former felony prosecutor who now serves as a defense attorney in the greater Chicago area. He has extensive experience handling all types of criminal cases, from sex offenses and domestic violence to retail theft-related crimes, murder, and drug crimes. His work has been recognized by Avvo, Expertise, National Trial Lawyers, and others, and he has been featured on countless news outlets for his experience and knowledge in criminal law.