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Criminal Sexual Abuse

Defending Against Sexual Abuse Charges – Illinois Criminal Defense Attorneys

Sexual abuse

A person facing sexual abuse charges needs a criminal defense attorney who will provide an aggressive defense without any judgment. If you have been arrested for sexual abuse, you should seek the right assistance as soon as possible. Under Illinois law, there are many crimes that are classified as sexual abuse offenses. Most of these are charged as felonies and carry the risk of significant prison time. Sexual abuse may include crimes involving a person 17 years of age or older and a person under the age of 17. It may involve an alleged offender in a position of power or trust. Child sexual abuse and child pornography also fall within the umbrella of sexual abuse. There are many instances where a person is falsely accused by somebody who wants to take advantage of the stigma that is attached to charges like these. Those convicted of a sexual crime may serve many years in prison and likely will have to register as a sexual offender for the remainder of their lives. An attorney ready to put forth a vigorous and thorough defense is critical to your future.

Effectively Defending against Sexual Abuse Charges

Chicago attorney David L. Freidberg has spent more than 20 years defending the rights and preserving the freedom of those accused of all types of crimes. Mr. Freidberg believes that a zealous defense is the right of every person and evaluates each case without judgment or recrimination in order to aggressively represent each and every client. In defending against a charge of sexual abuse, the facts and circumstances of the case take center stage. Our attorneys will scrutinize the arrest reports, review the evidence, and analyze the witness statements in order to develop an effective and credible defense. Many people allow the negative connotation of the charges to delay the enlistment of excellent legal aid, but this is the worst thing that one can do. Mr. Freidberg is ready to fight for you and will use his experienced investigators and associates to obtain the best possible outcome.

Illinois Sexual Abuse Laws

Under Illinois law, there are numerous offenses that fall within the category of sexual abuse or sexual crimes. Some of these include:

  • Aggravated criminal sexual abuse;
  • Predatory criminal sexual abuse;
  • Criminal sexual abuse;
  • Domestic violence;
  • Indecent liberties;
  • Internet sex offenses;
  • Child pornography;
  • Pornography possession;
  • Prostitution;
  • Sexual harassment; and
  • Solicitation.

Not all of these crimes result in felony charges and sex offender registration, but a person has to be very concerned with any charges relating to a sexual offense.

Criminal sexual abuse involves the commission of an act involving sexual touching (without penetration) through the use of force or threat of force, or with the knowledge that the victim lacks the capacity to consent to the sexual contact or does not understand the sexual nature of the act. Touching a man’s penis or woman’s breast or vagina without the requisite consent may result in a charge of criminal sexual abuse. In addition, criminal sexual abuse involves crimes against a child.

A person may be charged with the crime of sexual abuse if he or she engages in a sexual activity (which includes actual sexual penetration), where:

  • The victim is over the age of nine (9) years, but is younger than 17 years of age, where the defendant is less than 17 years old; or
  • The victim is over the age of 13 years, but less than 17 years of age and the defendant is five (5) or more years older than the victim.

(See 720 ILCS 5/11-1.50).

Sexual abuse charges are subject to more severe penalties if:

  • The defendant drugs the victim with a controlled substance without the victim’s knowledge or consent;
  • The defendant displays, threatens, uses, or is armed with a weapon;
  • The defendant inflicts bodily injury;
  • The defendant threatens or endangers the life of the victim or a third-party;
  • The sexual crime was committed during the commission of another felony; or
  • The victim is:
    • More than 60 years of age;
    • Physically handicapped; or
    • Severely mentally disabled.

(See 720 ILCS 5/11-1.30, 720 ILCS 5/11-1.60).

Child sexual abuse and pornography charges are serious crimes that carry severe penalties under Illinois law. The prosecutor only has to prove that a sexual act involving a child occurred, not that any force was used in the incident being charged. Child pornography charges also are felonies that involve mandatory sentencing and sex offender registration.

Penalties for Conviction of a Sexual Abuse Crime

Sexual abuse normally is charged as a Class 4 felony and may result in prison time of one (1) to three (3) years in addition to a fine that could be as much as $25,000.00. This is for a first offense. If the offender has been charged with sexual abuse at a prior time, then the punishment will be more severe.

Aggravated sexual abuse is charged as a Class 2 felony and sentencing may result in prison time from three (3) to seven (7) years in prison, as well as significant fines.

Additional Considerations in Sexual Abuse Cases

A person convicted of a sexual-based crime faces consequences above and beyond those suffered by those convicted of other crimes. Depending on the nature of the crime, the person will be known as a convicted sex offender and will be forced to register with local law enforcement agencies on a regular basis and every time he or she moves to a new location. Registration is mandatory for many types of crimes and may range from ten (10) years to the remainder of the offender’s life. Moreover, convicted sex offenders frequently have their private information and picture displayed on sex offender websites, which organize coordinated efforts to notify everyone in a neighborhood when a convicted sex offender moves into the area. This registration and publication can interfere with a person’s ability to find and maintain a job. At times, the registration may even prevent a person from being able to live in a particular location, such as near a school or park.

David L. Freidberg Offers a Zealous Defense for Sexual Abuse Charges

Chicago-based attorney David L. Freidberg is a criminal defense attorney who has spent more than 20 years fighting for the rights of those individuals charged with crimes. Mr. Freidberg believes that everyone deserves a zealous advocate and that does not change with the type of charges that a person faces. Mr. Freidberg’s talented group of criminal attorneys knows all the complicating factors that are part of a sexual abuse case. The lawyers and other experts retained as part of the defense strategy will review the facts and evidence of the case and develop an effective defense. There are many avenues of defense. Sexual-based offenses carry a well-known social stigma that people may use to alter results in other legal disputes. False statements are made. In addition, the collection of evidence must be done in accordance with strict legal standards. A careful review of the investigation and fact-gathering process may lead to a strong legal argument in opposition to the prosecutor’s case. Mr. Freidberg and his team will work with you to develop a powerful defense.

David L. Freidberg and his associates offer a free consultation so that we can evaluate your situation and provide some preliminary advice, without obligation, so call us at 312-560-7100, or email us to learn how we can help.