Grooming in IL: How It’s Different Than Solicitation
Parents in Illinois understand that there are dangers to children lurking everywhere. The online world children inhabit is full of people who want to harm them, but threats don’t always come from the outside.
Grooming is a crime in Illinois, as is indecent solicitation of a child. When you read these two statutes, you may not fully understand why these are two different crimes with two different penalties. No doubt, the law can be complicated, but it’s vital for every parent to understand the differences between these two sex crimes so that you can keep your children safe.
What is the difference between grooming and indecent solicitation in Illinois? Read on to find out.
Grooming in Illinois
Grooming in the state of Illinois is a sex crime, but it’s based on the use of technology to be carried out.
Grooming is perpetrated when someone uses the internet or other online service to solicit, entice, seduce, or lure a child or their guardian into committing a sexual offense or unlawful sexual conduct. It is also considered grooming if photos that transmit sexual organs are involved.
This crime is a bit of an all-encompassing crime due to the way it is carried out. It prohibits someone from using technology to solicit a child to engage in any type of sex offense. This can include crimes such as:
- Sexual exploitation of a child
- Child pornography
- Predatory criminal sexual assault of a child
- Custodial sexual misconduct
- Traveling to meet a minor for a sex act
You can face grooming charges even if there has been no sexual misconduct between you and the minor involved in the case. This crime is meant to address the use of a computer to solicit the act instead of the act itself. It’s not uncommon for children to be groomed in this way by people that they know.
What is the Penalty for Grooming?
Grooming in the state of Illinois is a Class 4 felony. If convicted, you can face up to three years in prison and fines of as much as $25,000.
Grooming can also be penalized for other crimes, such as traveling to meet a child. If that occurs, then the penalties will be more severe. It simply depends on the circumstances of the case.
Indecent Solicitation of a Child
Indecent solicitation of a child occurs when someone over the age of 17 authorizes, requests, urges, advises, incites, or commands a child knowingly to perform acts involving sexual penetration or engage in sexual conduct.
Someone can also be charged with this crime if they knowingly discuss sexual conduct or sexual penetration with someone under 17. This applies to someone the perpetrator believes is a child, too – not simply a child.
Penalties for Indecent Solicitation of a Child
The level of a felony a person is charged with in connection with this crime depends on the sexual offense that results.
For example, someone guilty of criminally sexual assaulting a child would be charged with a Class 1 felony for solicitation. In contrast, internet discussions of solicitation with a child can be a Class 4 felony. Every level of a felony may also include fines of as much as $25,000 in addition to time in prison. That’s why it’s vital to have a lawyer on your side if you are charged.
About the Author:
Andrew M. Weisberg is a former felony prosecutor serving as a defense attorney in the greater Chicago area. He has extensive experience handling all 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.