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How Does Illinois Define the Crime of Statutory Rape?

 Posted on June 07, 2024 in Criminal Defense

IL defense lawyerThe state of Illinois takes all accusations of sex crimes seriously, particularly if you are accused of having sexual relations with anyone younger than 17 years old, even if your sexual partner offered their consent. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule. Additionally, some scenarios might be punished much more severely than others. This article will examine statutory rape charges and various factors that can impact sentencing. If you have reason to believe you might be facing accusations of statutory rape, it is essential that you speak with a qualified Chicago, IL criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to ensure that you are protecting your rights.

Statutory Rape Laws in Illinois

The state of Illinois has a large scope of laws relating to sexual crimes, and accusations of statutory rape are handled with these laws in mind. The various types of crimes are:

  • Criminal sexual abuse: This would apply if the alleged victim is between 9 and 17 years old and the defendant is younger than 17, or the alleged victim is between 13 and 17 years old, and the defendant is up to five years older than her. These cases are a Class A misdemeanor. You might have to serve up to one year in jail and pay a fine that is between $75 - $2,500.
  • Aggravated criminal sexual abuse: This applies when the alleged victim is younger than 9 years old, and the defendant is younger than 17 or if the alleged victim is younger than 13 years old and the defendant is 17 or older. It also applies if the defendant is at least 5 years older than the alleged victim, the victim is 13-16 years old, and there was sexual conduct. These cases are charged as a Class 2 felony, sentenced to three to seven years in prison, and a fine between $75 - $25,000.
  • Aggravated criminal sexual assault is when the defendant is younger than 17 and allegedly sexually penetrated someone younger than 9 years old. Predatory criminal sexual assault is when a defendant is 17 years old or older and engages in sexual conduct or penetration with someone younger than 13 years old. Both are charged as a Class X felony and can be punished with a prison sentence of 6-60 years and a fine of $75-$25,000.

Mitigating Factors During Sentencing

While the law is quite clear on what constitutes statutory rape, two major factors can influence how severe the sentence will be:

  • Age: Sexual conduct with someone under the age of 17 is against the law, but the severity of punishment depends on the difference in age between the two people involved. If there is a very large age gap between the defendant and the alleged victim, punishments will generally be on the larger end of the spectrum. If the two are the same age or close in age, punishments tend to be lighter.
  • Consent: Sexual conduct with someone under 17 is considered statutory rape regardless of whether the alleged victim gave their consent. However, if it was against her will, sentences are generally more severe and if she consented, sentences tend to be lighter.

Schedule a Free Consultation with a Cook County, IL Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you are facing accusations of statutory rape, there could be life-changing consequences for you. A dedicated Chicago, IL defense attorney can review your case and build an aggressive defense. At Law Offices of James F. DiQuattro, we understand how seriously your life can be upended by such accusations, and we will fight to ensure your rights are being protected. Call us at 312-627-9482 to schedule a free consultation.

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