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Rape in Illinois
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Illinois law defines rape as committing unlawful sexual intercourse with a person, without consent from that person, usually through force or intimidation. A lack of consent can include the victim’s inability to say “no” to intercourse because of intoxication from drugs or alcohol. So, if the victim was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, his or her lack of wherewithal to say “no” because of their intoxicated state may be viewed as a lack of consent.
Statutory rape consists of sexual intercourse with a male or female under statutory age. Consent is not an issue. This offense may be either with or without the victim’s consent. The issue is the victim’s age. If you have sex with a person under a certain age, it is considered statutory rape. Reasonable mistake as to the victims age may be a defense in some cases although often it doesn’t matter at all. We certainly don’t suggest that you base the defense of your case on this issue alone if possible.
Statutory rape in Illinois does take into account the offender’s age. Below are the degrees of statutory rape laws in Illinois:
- Aggravated sexual assault for sexual penetration by an offender under age 17 with a victim under age 9.
- Predatory criminal sexual assault of a child for sexual penetration by an offender age 17 or older and a victim under 13.
- Criminal sexual abuse is sexual penetration with (1) an offender under age 17 and a victim between ages 9 and 17 or (2) a victim between ages 13 and 17 and an offender less than five years older.
- Aggravated criminal sexual abuse is sexual penetration with a victim between age 13 and 17 by an offender at least five years older.
Rape can also occur when there is a pre-existing relationship between the offender and victim and can even occur when a couple is married. In Illinois, a person can bring charges against an offending spouse for criminal sexual abuse.
The penalties associated with rape charges are severe and convictions usually include extensive prison time and a scarred reputation and record.
Our #1 piece of advice if you are being questioned for a rape or any other crime is to stop talking. Trying to explain away to the police what happened will create evidence that can be used against you. Politely decline the charges and tell them than you want to have your lawyer present when you speak. This is how any smart person would deal with this situation. If you have started talking then stop immediately.
If you are charged with rape in Illinois whether in the Chicago area, Central Illinois or anywhere else in Illinois, it is important that you have an experienced criminal defense lawyer to help defend you and advise you of your rights. If you have any questions about Illinois criminal defense laws or would like a referral to an experienced Illinois criminal defense lawyer please do not hesitate to contact us. All inquiries are free and confidential.