Thank you for your interest in The Law Offices of Andrew M. Weisberg. Please fill out the form below and we will be in touch soon

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

*Indicates Required Fields




(773) 908-9811

(773) 377-4310





(773) 908-9811



Aggressive. Experienced.

Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney
Former Cook County Felony Prosecutor

blog_homeBlog Home

Some Illinois Sex Crimes Specifically Aimed at Protecting Kids

State legislation is put into place in order to help to protect the people of Illinois. Doing so allows more people to exercise their rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Furthermore, not all Illinoisans are created equal — some are more vulnerable than others. That’s why we have harsher penalties against hate crimes or crimes against the elderly.

Still, children are considered the most vulnerable of us all, so when crimes involve them, the punishment is meant to fit.

Children Are Considered Especially Vulnerable to Sex Crimes

Statistics show that one out of four human trafficking victims globally is under the age of 18. Even in their own neighborhoods, 1 out of every 9 girls will be sexually abused by an adult before they reach their 18th birthday.

Illinois has gained recognition as of late for its creation of laws designed to protect children from abuse and sex trafficking. The state received a “B” grade from Shared Hope International for our current laws and policies on sex crimes.

Let’s take a closer look at the laws that led to this grade and the current penalties offenders face upon conviction.

Child Prostitution Laws in Illinois

Three hundred thousand children are victims of child sex trafficking in the United States alone. Child prostitution charges are always a felony in Illinois, whether or not you initiate the crime.

Patronizing a Minor Can Land You Five Years in Prison

Exchanging money for sex from a child prostitute (also known as “patronizing a minor”) is a Class 3 felony, for instance. Penalties include up to five years behind bars. Committed this crime near a school, and face Class 2 felony charges. Penalties increase to seven years behind bars.

Promoting Prostitution of a Child Can Lead to Decades Behind Bars

Acting as any child’s “pimp” or “john” or soliciting clients for a child prostitute is called “promoting prostitution of a child” in Illinois. This is a Class 1 felony. You can expect more than a decade-long prison sentence if convicted. When a crime happens 1,000 feet from a school, it’s a Class X felony. Translate: a 60-year prison term.

What’s more, children do not actually have to be engaged in sexual activity for an adult to be charged with a child sex crime.

IL Laws Surrounding Sexual Exploitation of a Minor

Simply trying to entice a child to engage in sexual behavior is a crime in Illinois — and more often, this type of crime is taking place online. It is known as the sexual exploitation of a minor.

When a Misdemeanor is Elevated to a Felony

Charges begin at a Class A misdemeanor level, with penalties including up to a year behind bars. They are elevated to a Class 4 felony if any of the following factors are present:

  • The offender exposes themselves to the child
  • The offender entices the child to remove their clothing
  • The victim is under age 13
  • The offender has a previous sexual exploitation record
  • The crime occurs within 500 feet of a school

Penalties for a Class 4 felony in Illinois include up to three years in prison.

Committing a Child Pornography Crime in Illinois

Committing a Child Pornography Crime in Illinois

Children aren’t just exploited through sex slavery or prostitution. With the cloak of anonymity that the Internet seems to provide, child pornography is another target of Illinois law enforcement.

Simply possessing child pornography is a Class 3 felony. Much like drug crimes, the distribution or manufacturing of child pornography comes with more severe charges and penalties. These crimes are usually Class 1 felonies.

Illinois Child Sexual Abuse and Assault Laws

Child sexual abuse is always a felony crime in Illinois unless the offender is charged with criminal sexual conduct and is a minor themselves. (Offenders who are less than five years older than the victim may also see reduced charges.)

Considerations During the Penalty Phase

The extent of the penalties may vary depending on a few factors:

  • The age of the victim
  • Whether penetration was involved in sexual abuse
  • Relationship between the victim and offender
  • Use or threat of a firearm or deadly weapon during the crime
  • Delivery of controlled substances to the victim
  • Offender’s criminal history

Elements of Violence Can End in Life Imprisonment

Some of the more violent crimes, including aggravated criminal sexual assault, could result in up to 60 years in prison. If the offender has a history of sexual assault crimes on their record, they could be put behind bars for life.

Statute of Limitations for Sex Crimes Against Children In Illinois

Most crimes in Illinois have a statute of limitations. This means charges must be pressed against you within a certain period of time. It’s different for sex crimes against a child.

Statute of Limitations for Sex Crimes Against Children In Illinois

Unfortunately, many child sex crimes don’t surface for years — sometimes decades. Children may not be able to process the crime or may feel afraid to come forward against an abuser. So victims of child sex crimes don’t have a statute of limitations…at all. If you have been — or think you may be — charged, reach out to an experienced Illinois sex crimes lawyer for advice.



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.

Our Blog

The Role of Police Misconduct in Chicago Resisting Arrest Cases

Resisting Arrest

Resisting arrest charges can be contentious and complex, especially when allegations of police misconduct or excessive force are involved. In Chicago, as in many other cities, cases of resisting arrest often intersect with concerns about police behavior and civil rights violations. Understanding the dynamics of how police misconduct can influence resisting arrest cases is crucial for both defendants and legal advocates.

Allegations of Police Misconduct

In recent years, allegations of police misconduct and excessive force have garnered significant attention in [...]

Supporting Survivors of Exploitation in Chicago Prostitution Trials

Prostitution & Solicitation

Facing prostitution charges in Chicago can be an overwhelming and distressing experience, particularly for individuals who have experienced exploitation or trauma. In this blog post, we will examine the importance of trauma-informed defense strategies and how criminal defense attorneys can provide compassionate and supportive representation to survivors of exploitation in prostitution trials. By prioritizing the well-being of their clients and understanding the complex factors underlying their involvement in prostitution, defense attorneys can effectively advocate for their rights and mitigate the [...]