If you or a loved one has been charged with a sex crime or a child pornography related crime, call Chicago sex crimes attorney Gus Kostopoulos for a free consultation. As a former prosecutor, Gus has the experience you need to fight the charges. Hiring a criminal attorney with a proven track record could be the difference between getting the charges dropped and spending years behind bars.
If convicted of a sex crime, you may face incredibly harsh consequences. Illinois is host to some of the country’s most stringent sexual assault and sexual abuse laws.
Punishments for sex crimes range from hefty fines to the potential for decades in prison. Sex crime convictions may also require you to register as a sexual offender. This will destroy your ability to lead a normal life. These convictions stay on your criminal record and will be visible if a potential employer, landlord, or lender runs a background check.
At Kostopoulos Law Group, former prosecutor Gus Kostopoulos understands the nuances of the law and the way the prosecutors operate. This allows us to provide you with top notch legal representation. We fight to protect your rights and to ensure we exhaust every possible defense when fighting sex crime charges. Call us today for a free consultation to learn more about how we may be able to help you.
Sex Crime Laws in Chicago
Illinois has many laws prohibiting and punishing various criminal sexual acts. The most notable, of most often charged, include Criminal Sexual Abuse and Criminal Sexual Assault. Sexual abuse is a broader crime that punishes various forms of sexual conduct. Sexual assault, more commonly referred to as rape, punishes criminal sexual penetration. Penalties for violation of a sex crime law in this state can be extremely severe, especially for repeat offenders. Sex crime laws include:
Criminal Sexual Abuse [720 ILCS 5/11-1.5]
Criminal sexual abuse is defined as committing an act of:
- Sexual conduct using force or the threat of force;
- Sexual conduct with knowledge that victim is unable to understand or give consent;
- Sexual penetration or sexual conduct with a victim between the ages of 9 and 17, with knowledge of his or her age; or
- Sexual penetration or sexual conduct with a victim between the ages of 13 and 17 and is less than 5 years older than the victim.
Criminal sexual abuse is a Class A Misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year in jail and a fine of up to $25,000.
Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse [720 ILCS 5/11-1.6]
Criminal sexual abuse may be elevated to a charge of aggravated sexual abuse if the victims are
- Between the ages of 13-16,
- Older than 60, or
- Disabled or handicapped.
The charges may also be elevated to aggravated criminal sexual abuse if the person:
- Displays, uses, or threatens to use a dangerous weapon;
- Causes bodily harm;
- Endangers or threatens the life of the victim or another person;
- Commits the abuse while committing or attempting to commit another felony; or
- Delivers a controlled substance to the victim without consent or by threat or deception.
Aggravated criminal sexual abuse is a Class 2 Felony, punishable by 7-14 years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000.
Criminal Sexual Assault [720 ILCS 5/11-1.2]
Criminal sexual assault, also commonly referred to as rape, is a serious crime that carries serious consequences upon conviction. Criminal sexual assault is defined as engaging in a penetrative sexual act with another person without consent. Criminal sexual assault may occur if the person:
- Uses force or the threat of force;
- Is a family member of the victim;
- Is 17 or older and holds a position of trust or authority over the victim who is between the ages of 13-18; or
- Knows the victim is incapable of understanding or consenting to the act.
A first-time offense is a Class 1 Felony, punishable by 4-15 years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines. A second or subsequent offense is a Class X Felony, punishable by 30-60 years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines.
Aggravated Criminal Sexual Assault [720 ILCS 5/11-1.3]
The crime of sexual assault may be elevated to aggravated sexual assault if the person uses a weapon, utters death threats, has previously been convicted of criminal sexual assault, or whose victim is under the age of 8 or mentally disabled.
Aggravated sexual assault is a Class X Felony, punishable by 30-60 years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines.
Predatory Criminal Sexual Assault of a Child [720 ILCS 5/11-1.4]
Sex crimes involving children are incredibly serious and carry heightened penalties for those who are convicted. A person commits predatory criminal sexual assault of a child if:
- They are 17 or older,
- Engage in any sexual contact or penetration,
- With a child under 13.
If convicted of this Class X Felony, you may be sentenced to between 6-60 years in prison.
Certain behaviors or circumstances are so egregious that the term of imprisonment is increased:
- If a person is armed with a firearm during the sexual assault of a child the term of imprisonment is extended by 15 years;
- If a person discharges a firearm during the sexual assault of a child the term of imprisonment is extended by 20 years;
- If a person causes great bodily harm that results in permanent disability or is life threatening the sentence imposed may be no less than 50 years and can be for life; and
- If a person, without the consent or knowledge of the victim, causes them to ingest or take a controlled substance the term of imprisonment imposed may be no less than 50 years and no more than 60 years.
If the person engaging in the criminal sexual assault of a child is 18 and has prior convictions for sex crimes the term of imprisonment may be extended to life.
Prostitution [720 ILCS 5/11-14]
In Illinois, it is illegal to engage in sexual acts in exchange for payment. Compensation does not have to be monetary. Prostitution is a Class A Misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year in jail and fines of up to $2,500.
Solicitation [720 ILCS 5/11-14.1]
Seeking compensation in exchange for sexual favors is prohibited in Illinois. The offense is a Class A Misdemeanor, but may be elevated to Class 4 Felony is solicitation is of a person under 18 or intellectually disabled.
Public Indecency [720 ILCS 5/11-30]
Illinois prohibits public displays of sexual acts. A person commits the crime of public indecency if he or she is 17 or older and:
- Commits an act of sexual penetration or sexual conduct in public; or
- Lewdly exposes his or her body with the intent to arouse or satisfy a sexual desire.
Public indecency charges are common but the elements of the statute provide many points of attack in a defense. The number one issue in most public indecency cases is whether the prohibited behavior took place in public. Public indecency is a Class A Misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year in jail and fines of up to $2,500.
Defenses to Sex Crime Charges
If you have been charged with a sex crime, it is important to contact an experienced Chicago sex crime lawyer immediately to ensure your rights are protected. Our attorneys are familiar with the process and may be able to help before criminal charges are formally processed.
In some cases, allegations of sex crimes may be inaccurate, baseless, or malicious. An experienced attorney can investigate the situation and help to devise legal defenses to keep your record from being tarnished. Defenses to sex crimes may include consent of the accusing party or violations to your Constitutional rights during searches or interrogations. Contact an attorney before you consent to speak with the police about the sex crime allegations against you.
Penalties for Sex Crimes in Chicago
Conviction of a sex crime not only makes you vulnerable to serious jail time, but may also require registration as a sex offender in the state, as well. Registration as a sex offender or sex predator can have serious consequences on your ability to enjoy your life. Registered sex offenders may be prohibited from:
- Entering schools, public parks, or public buildings without permission;
- Renting or owning property within 500 feet of a school, public park, or public building unless they owned that property prior to July 7, 2000;
- Using social media; and
- Having unsupervised contact with children other than their own.
Failure to register or violation(s) of registry requirements is punishable by imprisonment of between 2-7 years, depending on the specific situation.
Contat an Experienced Chicago Sex Crimes Attorney Today
A sex crime conviction on your record can be life-changing, and impose serious restrictions on your ability to enjoy basic freedoms and privileges. To minimize the affect charges of a sexual offense may have, contact an experienced Chicago sex crime attorney today.
At Kostopoulos Law Group, LLC, our sex crime attorneys are ready to help you fight to protect your rights and reduce any potential punishments that may be imposed. When you call, we will listen to the details of your case, investigate any potential discrepancies in stories, and devise a custom legal strategy to fight against the charges against you. Sex crimes are serious – enlist the assistance of an experienced attorney today.