Chicago criminal lawyer Fred Mark Dry explains the differences and possible punishments of criminal sexual abuse and assault versus aggravated sexual abuse and assault in Illinois. For more information or to discuss Illinois sex crimes and charges, speak with a competent Chicago criminal law attorney.
Sex between two consenting persons who are under 17 years of age is a very serious criminal offense under Illinois law. Sex between two minors is criminal sexual abuse, it does not matter if the persons involved are in a relationship together or if they have willingly engaged in sexual intercourse.
Criminal Sexual Abuse and Assault
Sexual assault and sexual abuse are unwanted physical contact of a sexual nature. According to the Illinois Criminal Sexual Assault Act, criminal sexual assault is defined as an act of sexual penetration with the use or threat of force or an act of sexual penetration when the accused knew that the victim was “unable to understand the nature of the act or was unable to give knowing consent.”
The two primary ways for a person to get charged with criminal sexual abuse are:
- Consensual sex between two persons who are both under 17 years old, but at least 9 years old.
- Consensual sex between two persons where the victim was at least 13 but less than 17 years old, and the accused was younger than 21 years of age.
Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse and Assault
If sex between the minors was nonconsensual, as in the victim did not voluntarily have sex, the offense is aggravated criminal sexual assault. Aggravated sexual assault is an act of sexual assault that maims, wounds, or disfigures the victim, or involves a victim who is physically or mentally incapacitated. It may also include a sexual assault that is aided or abetted by another person, occurs during commission of another crime, or involves use of a deadly weapon.
Differences Between Criminal And Aggravated Sexual Abuse And Assault
Illinois criminal sexual abuse is a Class A misdemeanor offense for which the sentence can be up to one year in jail and a fine of $2,500. The judge can allow the defendant to serve two years of probation involving counseling, community service, and other conditions, as opposed to jail. It becomes a felony if force is used or the victim is unable to give consent or understand the nature of the act or was unable to give knowing consent.
Being found guilty of criminal sexual abuse will require the defendant to register as a sex offender. The law in Illinois for sex offenders requires them to register for a minimum period of 10 years. During this time, they have to check in with the local police department wherever they reside, and live in a place that is approved by the police, at least 1,000 feet away from any school or daycare. Speak with a skilled Chicago criminal law attorney if you’ve been charged with criminal sexual abuse in Illinois.
Aggravated criminal sexual assault is a Class X felony offense. The defendant would be sentenced to 6-30 years in prison if found guilty. The court cannot sentence the defendant to probation.
Criminal Sexual Abuse becomes Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse if:
- Weapon is used;
- Bodily harm occurs;
- Victim is over 60 years of age;
- Life of victim or other is in danger;
- Occurs during the course of another crime;
- Offender provides a controlled substance to the victim.
Under another section, if the accused was 5 years older than the victim, then the offense is aggravated criminal sexual abuse. Under that section, the distinction between the misdemeanor charge and felony is 5 years difference in age. If the victim is 16 and the accused is 20 years old, it is a misdemeanor. If the victim is 16 and the accused is 21, it is aggravated criminal sexual abuse, a Class 2 felony offense.
Aggravated criminal sexual abuse is a Class 2 felony offense. The sentence for aggravated criminal sexual abuse is 3-7 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections and a possible $25,000 fine. Probation is a possibility, but it depends on the case.
Criminal and aggravated sexual abuse and assault are serious crimes and greatly impact your life and future. Talk to an experienced Chicago criminal lawyer immediately!