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Aggressive. Experienced.

Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney
Former Cook County Felony Prosecutor

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Indecent Proposals: IL Man Allegedly Exposes Himself Looking for Sex

It may seem like a harmless thing to relieve yourself in public if no restroom is available or it might seem exciting to get intimate with a partner in public, but both of these things can result in criminal charges in Illinois – criminal charges that have some serious penalties.

In August 2020, a man on Chicago’s Near North Side was reported to police for approaching people and exposing himself, telling them that he was looking for a woman to have sex with, according to Chicago police. 

He may have slipped through police hands this time, but they are actively seeking him in connection with these events and if found, will be charged accordingly.

You may think that public indecency is a crime you may never have to deal with, but you might be surprised about what acts count as public indecency under Illinois law. 

The truth is, it’s not as cut and dry as a man exposing himself and attempting to solicit sex from strangers on the street – you do not have to go that far to be charged. Here’s what you need to know.

What Is Public Indecency According to Illinois Law?

In Illinois, public indecency occurs when someone over the age of 17 is in public and:

  • Engages in lewd exposure of their body parts with the intent to satisfy or around the sexual desires of someone else
  • Performs a sex act

You may notice that nudity is not expressly listed. That’s because, in order to be charged with public indecency, you don’t have to expose yourself. In fact, you can be charged with this crime while still remaining fully clothed. The statute that governs Illinois public indecency defines a public place as anywhere the conduct of a person may reasonably be viewed by other people. So, you may think you’re doing something out of sight from others, but if it’s a place you cannot reasonably expect privacy, then you could be charged with public indecency.

What Counts as a Public Place in Illinois?

What types of places can you not reasonably expect privacy? While this is a broad definition, some examples of places you could get arrested for this crime include:

  • Your own driveway
  • Public parks
  • Inside a car in a private drive
  • The front porch of your house
  • Private and public college campuses

As you can see, it doesn’t matter if it’s private property or not. If you expect that you can be seen, then you risk being charged with public indecency.

Illinois Criminal Penalties for Indecent Exposure

Indecent exposure is a Class A misdemeanor in Illinois, which is a serious charge. It could be charged as a felony if there are certain aggravating factors or if you’ve been convicted multiple times.

The penalties for a person’s first and second convictions of indecent exposure without aggravating factors are up to one year in jail and up to $1,000 in fines. For three or more convictions, a Class 4 felony can be charged, resulting in up to three years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines. You may also be required to register as a sex offender.

If you are over 18 and found guilty of indecent exposure within 500 of a school when children are present, then that’s an aggravating factor that could lead to a Class 4 felony charge.

Illinois Criminal Penalties for Indecent Exposure

As you can see, indecent exposure isn’t a silly crime that isn’t taken seriously. Make sure you think about where you and what you’re doing or you could land yourself in some seriously hot legal water.


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 in 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.

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