In Illinois, Criminal Sexual Abuse can be charged under 720 ILCS 5/11-1.50 (which used to be codified as 720 ILCS 5/12-15) as a Class A misdemeanor offense, a class 4 felony, or possibly as a more severe class 2 felony. The specific facts alleged and criminal history of the defendant will determine which penalties under the law apply.
Defining Criminal Sexual Abuse
This Illinois sex offense is a misdemeanor for a first offense in two specific cases:
- Under section (b) of the law - Where two people engage in "sexual conduct" or "sexual penetration" (this is broader than if the law simply said sexual intercourse) where those two people are at least 9 years old and are also younger than 17.
- Under section (c) of the law - Where the victim is at least 13 years old but less than 17 (the age of consent for most sexual acts in Illinois) and the defendant is less than 5 years older at the time of the offense (21 years old at most).
The offense becomes a felony where the threat of force or actual use of force is not involved, or where the "victim is unable to understand ... or to give knowing consent." For instance, the victim is mentally challenged or somehow impaired. If either of these elements exist, Criminal Sexual Abuse becomes a Class 4 felony for a first offense. A defendant who has been previously convicted of this or a similar or more serious sex offense is facing a class 2 felony.
Sentencing for Misdemeanor Criminal Sexual Abuse
The sentence range for Criminal Sexual Abuse when charged as a misdemeanor is up to 364 days in jail and $2,500 in fines. Supervision is not an available sentence if found guilty, and the court must enter a conviction, which cannot be sealed or expunged. Additionally, conviction for Criminal Sexual Abuse requires registration as a sex offender for a minimum of 10 years. However, the law does provide a possible sentence of two years probation with conditions of counseling, community service, and more to avoid jail time.
Sentencing for Felony Criminal Sexual Abuse
When qualifying for felony status as explained above, Illinois provides either class 4 or class 2 felony penalties. Class 4 felony offenses are punishable by 1-3 years in prison, and class 2 felonies by 3-7 years. Maximum fines in both case range as high as $25,000 plus court costs. And of course, sex offender registration is required
Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse, Criminal Sexual Assault, Aggravated Criminal Sexual Assault or Predatory Criminal Sexual Assault are all very different offenses under Illinois law, carrying stiffer prison terms, in some cases mandatory prison sentences, and requiring lifetime registration as a sex offender.