Aggravated Sexual Battery and Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse in Illinois

Illinois treats sex crimes very seriously. Those who are charged with aggravated sexual battery, aggravated criminal sexual abuse, or aggravated sexual assault face years in prison for even first offenses. Additionally, judges are never permitted to grant probation in these cases, so defendants serve at least four years in state prison. Further, the defendant is required to register as a sex offender. An Illinois criminal defense attorney can help you build a solid defense if you are charged with aggravated sexual battery.

Criminal Sexual Assault in Illinois

The term "rape" is not used in Illinois. Instead, "sexual assault" describes rape and similar charges. To be charged with sexual assault in Illinois, prosecutors must prove that sexual penetration occurred and any one of the following:

  • Force or threat of force existed
  • The victim was unable to understand or give consent to sex
  • The victim was under 18 and the perpetrator was a family member
  • The victim was between the ages of 13 and 18 and the defendant was over 17 and held a position of trust

Criminal sexual assault is a non-probational offense. Judges must sentence the statutory minimum of four years in these cases. The maximum penalty is 15 years. Subsequent offenses are categorized as Class X felonies which are the most severe short of first-degree murder.

Aggravated Criminal Sexual Assault in Illinois

Aggravated criminal sexual assault occurs when all of the elements of a criminal sexual assault are present and there are additional aggravating factors. Aggravating factors include:

  • Use of a dangerous weapon
  • Infliction of bodily harm
  • Threatening the life of the victim
  • Commission of a co-occurring felony
  • The victim was over 60
  • The victim was physically handicapped
  • Drugs were used in the assault
  • A firearm was discharged during the offense
  • A firearm was discharged causing great bodily harm

Additionally, age differences can qualify an individual for aggravated sexual assault charges. If a victim is under 8 years of age and the defendant is over 16, they can be charged with aggravated criminal sexual assault. If a threat of force was used then the victim can be as old as 12. Lastly, if the victim was profoundly mentally disabled, the defendant can be charged with aggravated sexual assault.

Predatory Criminal Sexual Assault in Illinois

Predatory sexual assault is the most serious sex crime charge in Illinois. The defendant faces a Class X felony with a mandatory minimum of six years and a maximum of 30. If a firearm was used, 15, 20, or even 50 years may be attached to the sentence. A second violation of predatory criminal sexual assault results in a mandatory life sentence. To prove predatory criminal sexual assault, you must establish sexual penetration along with:

  • The perpetrator is over 17 and the victim is under 12
  • The perpetrator is over 17 and the victim is under 12 and carried a firearm, used the firearm, or caused great bodily harm
  • The perpetrator is over 17 and the victim is under 12 and delivered a controlled substance to the victim
Criminal Sexual Abuse

There are two crimes in Illinois that fall under criminal sexual abuse. These can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a lesser felony. Prosecutors have broad discretion when it comes to filing specific charges. Sexual assault can be difficult to prove, so plea bargains are common in these cases. You will want to negotiate the best plea you can arrange and fight whatever charges are unprovable. Nonetheless, you will want to consider any plea bargain carefully as your name will appear in the sex offender registry with any plea you accept—even if the crime is a misdemeanor.

To prove criminal sexual abuse, prosecutors must establish that the age of the victim was between 9 and 16 and the age of the suspect was over 17. Prosecutors can also establish that the victim was aged 13 to 16 and the accused was 17 or older but less than five years older than the victim.

Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse

To prove aggravated criminal sexual abuse, a prosecutor must establish that the defendant committed criminal sexual abuse as outlined above plus any of a number of aggravating factors. This includes:

  • The use of a weapon
  • Causing bodily harm
  • The victim was over the age of 60
  • The victim was physically handicapped
  • The defendant threatened the victim’s life
  • Another felony was committed at the same time
  • A drug was used to render the victim unresponsive

Other scenarios that trigger the aggravated criminal sexual abuse statute include:

  • The victim is 17 years or younger and abused by a family member (in Illinois, the age of consent is 17, but if the victim has any sexual contact with a family member, then the age of consent goes up to 18)
  • The victim was 12 or younger and the defendant was 17 or older
  • The victim is between 13 and 16 and the defendant was 17 or older and used force or the threat of force
  • The victim was under 8 and the defendant was over 17
  • The victim was profoundly mentally disabled
  • The victim was between 13 and 17 and the defendant held a position of trust (coach and teacher rule)
Sextortion and Sexual Exploitation of a Child

Sextortion cases are becoming more prevalent and generally involve internet stalking, catfishing, and computer hacking. The defendant will find some leverage on the victim and then use that to extort nude photos or force a meetup. However, this can also include sending "dick pics" or nudes to a victim to arouse sexual desire. While blackmail is generally an element of sextortion cases, Illinois has no specific statute in regards to sextortion. Instead, it falls under the sexual exploitation of a child. Note that there is no perpetrator age in this statute. That means that children can be charged under the statute by an aggressive enough prosecutor simply for sending nudes to their girlfriend or boyfriend.

Talk to a Chicago Sexual Battery Attorney Today

Attorney David L. Freidberg has years of experience representing those who are charged with sex crimes in Illinois. Call today at (312) 560-7100 to discuss the matter with a trained professional and allow us to begin preparing your defense immediately.