In the age of the internet, dating apps and social media dominate the social scene. Most social media platforms and dating apps have age limits that regulate children and underage activity. But what happens if a minor lies about his or her age, especially when engaging in a sexual relationship with an adult? Many factors go into determining the fault of each party. However, if you have engaged in sexual relations with a minor, you may be charged with statutory rape in the state of Illinois.
Even if a minor lies about their age, an adult is still liable for committing statutory rape. Age of consent laws tend to fluctuate between states. In the state of Illinois, the age of consent is 17 years. This means that if you are over the age of consent and engage in sexual activity with someone under 17, you may be charged with a sex crime.
There are two classifications of sex crimes in Illinois. If you allegedly engaged in sexual activity with a minor, you could be charged with:
Criminal sexual assault — This occurs when the perpetrator is engaging in penetrative sexual activity with someone who is not able to or does not consent or if the perpetrator is 17 years old or older, in a position of power and the victim is between the ages of 13 and 18. This type of crime is considered a class 1 felony.
Criminal sexual abuse — This can occur when a perpetrator engaged in non-penetrative sexual activity with a minor (class 4 felony), if the perpetrator is 17 or younger and engaged in any sexual activity with someone aged 9-17, or if the victim is between the ages of 9-17 and the perpetrator is no more than five years older than the victim (class A misdemeanor).
It is critical to reach out to a criminal defense attorney if you were accused of sexual activity or intercourse with a minor, even if the victim was untruthful about their age. It is generally understood in most cases that the adult should take the responsibility to ensure that their sexual partners are of age to consent and should be able to tell if their sexual partners are minors. Some states have banned this “mistake-of-age” defense, however, the state of Illinois considers this a valid defense. If you feel that dishonesty caused you to act in a way that you otherwise would have not acted, a defense lawyer may be able to help you.
Engaging in sexual intercourse or activity with a minor under the age of consent is a crime. Our Arlington Heights criminal defense attorney at Scott F. Anderson, Attorney at Law may be able to defend you if you believe the minor lied about his or her age. For a free consultation on your unique case, call us at 847-253-3400 to set up an appointment.
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