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Jun. 18 2016

Criminal Sexual Abuse and Assault

Posted By: Sami Azhari

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.”

Criminal Sexual Abuse and Assault

Criminal sexual abuse involves an act of sexual conduct by the use or force or threat of force. 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.

Criminal sexual assault requires an act of sexual penetration, not just sexual conduct as required for a charge of criminal sexual abuse. Illinois criminal sexual assault is a class 1 felony for which the punishment can be 4 to 15 years in jail.

Being found guilty of criminal sexual abuse or assault will require the defendant to register as a sex offender. Illinois requires sex offenders to register for a minimum period of 10 years. During this time, they have to notify 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.

Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse and 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. 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. 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.

Defend Your Rights with Our Expert Sexual Assault and Abuse Defense Attorneys

Sexual assault and abuse charges are serious and can have life-altering consequences, including lengthy prison sentences and mandatory registration as a sex offender. At Azhari LLC, we understand the gravity of these charges and the impact they can have on your life. Our experienced defense attorneys are dedicated to providing you with a strong defense to protect your rights and future. If you are facing charges of sexual assault or abuse, contact us today at (312) 626-2871 for a consultation and take the first step towards safeguarding your freedom and future.