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Criminal Sexual Assault & Abuse Law Firms in Illinois
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Sexual assault and sexual abuse are unwanted physical contact of a sexual nature. Either can be perpetrated against both sexes and any age group, by assailants of all ages. In short, Illinois law states that any sexual contact or sexual penetration, however slight and without consent, may be considered an offense.
According to Illinois law, 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”.
Sexual penetration is defined as any contact, however slight, between the sex organ or anus of one person by an object, the sex organ, mouth, or anus of another person, or any intrusion, however slight, or any part of the body of one person or of any animal or object into the sex organ or anus of another person. Evidence of emission of semen is not required to prove sexual penetration. The survivor is not required to prove that force was used, only that the threat of force was present.
Certain circumstances increase the severity of the crime charged, specifically increasing a criminal sexual assault charge to aggravated criminal sexual assault.
Aggravated criminal sexual assault is an act of sexual assault with a dangerous weapon; or when there is bodily harm; or when the accused threatens the life of the victim or another; or in the commission of another felony; or the accused delivered any controlled substance to the victim, including use of rape drugs to the victim.
Criminal sexual assault is a Class 1 felony, with a possible jail sentence of 4 to 15 years. Aggravated criminal sexual assault is a Class X felony, with a possible jail sentence of 6 to 30 years.
Criminal sexual abuse constitutes unwanted sexual contact up to penetration. Sexual abuse is “any intentional or knowing touching or fondling by the victim of the accused, either directly or through clothing, of the sex organs, anus or breast of the victim or the accused.. for the purpose of sexual gratification or arousal of the victim or the accused”.
Similar to criminal sexual assault, certain circumstances increase the severity of a criminal sexual abuse charge to aggravated criminal sexual assault.
When a person commits criminal sexual abuse with the use of a deadly weapon, while causing injury, while threatening the life of another person, or by giving the victim a drug or other controlled substance, the charge is increased to aggravated criminal sexual abuse.
Further, criminal sexual abuse is increased to aggravated criminal sexual abuse if the victim belongs to a certain group of people, specifically if the victim is: 60 years and older; physically handicapped; mentally retarded; a family member under age 18; under age 16 if the accused is over 16; or between the age of 13-17 if abused by a person of authority or trust.
Criminal sexual abuse is a Class 4 felony, with a possible prison sentence for up to 3 years. If you are found guilty of criminal sexual abuse more than once, the crime becomes a Class 2 felony. Aggravated criminal sexual abuse is a Class 2 felony, which is punishable by up to 7 years in prison.
Many sex-offense acts have no witnesses, so prosecutorial decisions are made on the strength of other evidence and on the credibility of the parties. Often, false accusations can occur and it can be difficult to defend against such charges. If you have been arrested or charged with a sex offense, we highly recommend that you hire a criminal defense lawyer.
Conviction of a sex offense can bring severe penalties and will ruin your life forever. You get one shot to defend charges like this so you better take it seriously and you better get the best representation possible. An experienced criminal defense attorney will help protect your rights and considering the facts and circumstances in your case, may be able to get your charges reduced or dismissed. Please contact us if you have any questions or would like with a proven track record of success in defending Illinois criminal sexual assault and abuse charges. We don’t promise a result, but do guarantee that we only suggest independent lawyers that we as attorneys would hire if we were in your shoes.