Contact Chicago rape defense attorney Gus Kostopoulos today if you’re facing rape charges. Gus is a former prosecutor with over 18 years experience. Do not speak to the police. They may ask you to “explain your side of the story.” That is not true. They want to you to say something that they can use against you at a later time.
It is important for you to understand the seriousness of the charges against you and the consequences you could face if you do not fight. We will review your alleged crime, determine the best legal strategy, and explain your legal rights. Do not hesitate to call us – the choices you make today are incredibly important for your future.
The experienced attorneys at the Kostopoulos Law Group know that a criminal conviction for rape can have life-altering consequences. In addition to time in prison, you will be required to register as a sex offender with the state of Illinois. Once you’re a registered sex offender, your ability to have a normal life is over. We know that it can be difficult for the State’s Attorney to prove that you are guilty of rape because these types of cases can often be based solely on the accusation of an alleged victim. We will fight to limit the prosecution’s ability to build a case against you. This involves an aggressive pre-investigative process and speaking with the State’s Attorney before any criminal charges are filed.
Rape Crimes Laws
Criminal Sexual Assault
Rape, which is also referred to as criminal sexual assault, is the act of having sex with another person without their consent and/or against their will. There are many situations that could lead to rape charges in Chicago. You can be charged with the crime of rape in Chicago, as defined in 720 ILCS 5/11-1.2, if you commit an act of sexual penetration and:
- Use force or the threat of force;
- The victim cannot or will not consent;
- The victim is a family member under the age of 18; and/or
- You hold a position of authority over the victim who is between the age of 13 and 18.
Aggravated Criminal Sexual Assault
The crime of rape can become more serious when certain “aggravating circumstances” exist. If you are charged with aggravated rape in Chicago you will face harsher criminal penalties, including the possibility of life imprisonment. You can be charged with aggravated rape in Chicago, as defined 720 ILCS 5/11-1.2, if you commit a sexual assault and:
- Use a dangerous weapon;
- Cause bodily harm;
- Threaten the victim’s life;
- Threaten the life of someone the victim knows;
- The victim is over the age of 60;
- The victim is disabled;
- Deliver a controlled substance to the victim without their knowledge or consent;
- Brandish a firearm during the assault;
- Discharge a firearm during the assault; and/or
- Discharge a firearm during the assault and cause serious bodily injury or death.
The age of consent in Illinois is 16. This means that a person under the age of 16 cannot legally provide the consent that is required to engage in sexual activities. In Chicago, the crime of statutory rape occurs when you have sex with a minor who is under the age of 16. The “consent” of the victim is irrelevant; the fact that you had sex with a person under the age of 16 is enough to establish criminal liability.
For example, let’s say a 15-year-old wants to have sex with their 17-year-old partner. The 17-year-old is old enough to consent to sexual activity, but the 15-year-old is not. The 17-year-old could be charged with statutory rape even if the 15-year-old was a willing participant in the sexual activity.
Statutory rape can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony in Chicago. The judge and jury will review mitigating and aggravating factors to determine the penalty that is most appropriate for each individual case. Factors that will be most relevant in determining the penalty for statutory rape include:
- Your age;
- The age of the victim;
- Aggravating factors (e.g., use of force, administering illicit substances, criminal threats, etc.);
- Mitigating factors (e.g., romantic relationship, minor age difference between parties, etc.); and
- Whether you held a position of power or authority over the victim.
Penalties for Rape in Chicago
Criminal Penalties for Rape
Rape, without previous convictions or aggravating factors, is a Class 1 Felony in Chicago. If you are convicted of rape in Chicago, your criminal sentence could include:
- 4-15 years in an Illinois state prison; and/or
- $25,000 in fines.
If you have been previously convicted of rape, a subsequent offense will be charged as a Class X Felony. A conviction for a Class X Felony in Chicago can include a sentence of:
- 30-60 years in an Illinois state prison; and/or
- $25,000 in fines.
Criminal Penalties for Aggravated Rape
Aggravated rape is a Class X Felony in Chicago. The specific penalty you will face will depend on the facts and circumstances specific to your crime. If you are convicted of aggravated rape in Chicago, your criminal sentence could include:
- A minimum 6-30 years in an Illinois state prison;
- The possibility of life in prison;
- $25,000 in fines; and
- Restitution for damages suffered by the victim.
Collateral Consequences of Rape
A criminal conviction for rape will make your life incredibly difficult. You will have to deal with the criminal consequences of the crime, collateral consequences of a conviction, and the social stigma that comes with being a convicted sex offender. This can make it difficult or impossible to:
- Find or maintain a job;
- Rent or buy a home;
- Enroll in a college or place of higher learning;
- Purchase or own a firearm;
- Participate in government welfare programs;
- Work in a government position; and/or
- Maintain custody of your children.
If you are convicted for the crime of rape in Chicago you will be required to register with the state as a sex offender. This will impose even more restrictions and difficulties in your life. The names, photographs, and information about registered sex offenders are maintained in a searchable database. This means that anyone can easily learn about your criminal history and sexual offenses, making your life incredibly difficult and complicated. The only way you can avoid these consequences is by hiring an experienced Chicago rape attorney to handle your case.
Defending Accusations of Rape
The State’s Attorney must prove that you are guilty of each element of the crime in order to convict you, which can be incredibly difficult in a rape case. Many rape cases lack substantial evidence and are based solely on the testimony of the accuser. This means that the case boils down to a “he said, she said” situation.
As your criminal defense attorney, it is our responsibility to make it difficult for the State’s Attorney to prove their case. As soon as you hire us, our legal team will immediately get to work on your defense. The first step is an aggressive investigation into your alleged crime. During this investigation, we will gather evidence, speak with witnesses, review police and medical reports, and consult with experts to develop a case to limit the consequences of your arrest. We will not hesitate to argue any defense that may be appropriate, including:
- Consent of the victim;
- False accusation;
- Mistaken identity;
- Insufficient evidence to carry the burden of proof; and/or
- Violation of your Constitutional rights.
Experienced Rape Defense Attorneys in Chicago
Have you or someone you love been arrested for rape in Chicago? If so, it is extremely important to speak with an experienced Chicago rape attorney as soon as you can. The decisions you make after your arrest will have a significant impact on your future Make the choice to fight for your rights and defend yourself against any and all accusations of criminal wrongdoing.
We can help you limit the consequences of your arrest and will fight to make sure that your rights are respected. In Chicago, rape cases are often based on the testimony of your accuser and little to no other evidence. We will make sure that you are not charged or convicted of a crime when the State’s Attorney lacks the evidence they need to make their case. Do not hesitate to contact our sex crimes attorneys today to set up a free consultation.