In life, people want to be able to claim their accomplishments. Those can be personal or professional – and to many people, they’re quite important, rightly so. However, being a convicted Illinois sex offender can change how your accomplishments are viewed and whether or not you’re even recognized for them.
A case out of Chicago highlights how fragile professional accomplishments can be for sex offenders in the state. A former Blackhawk’s video coach may have his name removed from the Stanley Cup for sexually assaulting a former player while he was involved with the team. The team owner says that removing his name from the trophy is an action of “moral belief”. He feels like it is the right thing for the team and the prestigious award.
This case goes to show just how much being a convicted sex offender can disrupt a person’s life, taking away personal and professional accomplishments in the process.
Who Has to Register As a Sex Offender in Illinois?
Under the Illinois Sex Offender Registration Act, those who are convicted of a sex crime, along with anyone adjudicated as being sexually violent/dangerous or found not guilty by reason of insanity, are required to register as a sex offender. Some of the offenses for which a person commonly is found guilty that require this include:
- Sexual assault
- Aggravated sexual assault
- Child pornography and any crime involving child pornography
- Sexual abuse
- Aggravated sexual abuse
What Does Registration as a Sex Offender Require?
If you are a registered sex offender in Illinois, then you are required to uphold certain obligations. These include:
- Re-register regularly – Most sex offenders will be required to re-register with local law enforcement quarterly or annually for a minimum of 10 years after release from prison.
- Provide advanced notice – A sex offender can live with a minor, but it’s required that law enforcement is given advanced notice of at least three days before the offender lives with a minor who is not their child.
- Report changes – if there are changes in circumstances such as employment, address, email, user names on instant messengers, or phone numbers, the offender must let law enforcement know.
What Are the Prohibitions on Sex Offenders in Illinois?
Sex offenders in Illinois must abide by certain prohibitions and requirements. These include:
- Being near a school or on school grounds – If a person has been convicted of a sex offense against children, then they will not be allowed within 500 feet of a school or on school grounds unless the school board or superintendent has approved it.
- Use social media – Sex offenders cannot use social media when they are on parole, probation, or supervised release.
- Be near a public park – Sex offenders convicted of crimes against children are also not able to be on the grounds of a public park. Doing so will result in a Class A misdemeanor.
What About Professional Consequences?
When a person becomes a registered sex offender in Illinois, then their identity becomes public knowledge because of the Illinois Sex Offender Registration Act. However, there are also federal acts that regulate professional licensures of sex offenders.
If you are a registered sex offender with a professional license, then your license can be suspended or revoked for violating standards of sexual misconduct. That means that any professional license you put time and effort into obtaining is in jeopardy if you are convicted.
About the Author
Sami Azhari has been working as a lawyer since 2007, after receiving his Juris Doctor from the Michigan State University College of Law. He has handled numerous state and federal cases, and is known throughout the Chicago and Rolling Meadows area for providing his clients with high-quality, skilled representation. He has been recognized by Avvo (2013 and 2018), SuperLawyers (2015-2020), The National Trial Lawyers, and other notable organizations, and has spoken at a number of legal conferences.