What is the Difference Between Criminal Sexual Assault and Criminal Sexual Abuse in Illinois?

 Posted on June 18,2019 in Sex Crimes

Arlington Heights, IL sex crimes defense attorney

Being accused of a sex crime can greatly impact your life, regardless of the charge. Even if you are not convicted of the alleged charge, your criminal record is public information, and arrests or accusations can appear on a background check. A sex crime conviction can bring about many undesired consequences. Not only can you be sentenced to prison or probation or be ordered to pay steep fines, you will also face the judgment of the public and experience negative effects on your personal life and relationships, and you may even be required to register as a sex offender.

In the state of Illinois, the two major sex crimes are criminal sexual assault and criminal sexual abuse. Though they are similar crimes, they have different consequences.

Sexual Assault and Aggravated Sexual Assault

The Illinois Criminal Code of 2012 states that sexual assault occurs when a person commits an act of sexual penetration and uses or threatens to use force, knows that the victim is unable to give explicit consent, or the perpetrator is 17 or older and the victim is between the ages of 13 and 18. Sexual assault is classified as a Class 1 felony charge, meaning someone could face 4 to 15 years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines for a conviction.

Aggravated sexual assault occurs when a person commits sexual assault and displays, threatens to use, or uses a dangerous weapon, causes bodily harm to the victim, acts in a certain way that threatens the life of the victim or another person, or is armed with a firearm. Aggravated sexual assault is classified as a Class X felony, which is the most serious type of felony charge. The person charged could face 6 to 30 years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines if convicted of this crime.

Sexual Abuse and Aggravated Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse occurs when a person commits an act of sexual conduct and uses force or the threat of force or knows the victim cannot give full consent. Illinois law defines sexual conduct as any touching or fondling of the sex organs or breasts of a person, whether directly or through clothing, for purposes of sexual gratification. For a child under the age of 13, touching or fondling of any body part can constitute sexual conduct. Charges for sexual abuse begin at a Class A misdemeanor, which carries with it up to one year in prison and up to $2,500 in fines.

Aggravated sexual abuse is very similar in the sense that it occurs when a person commits an act of sexual conduct and a dangerous weapon is used or threatened to be used, the victim sustains bodily harm, or the perpetrator acts in such a way that affects the victim or another person’s life. Aggravated sexual abuse is classified as a Class 2 felony, which means a person would face a three to seven years in prison and a fine up to $25,000.

Contact an Arlington Heights, IL Sex Crimes Defense Attorney

One of the most damaging crimes you could be accused of is a sex crime. Not only do you face legal repercussions, but you will also face other non-legal consequences. If you are facing accusations of sexual abuse or sexual assault, you need the trusted legal knowledge of a skilled Rolling Meadows, IL sex crimes defense lawyer. Scott F. Anderson, Attorney at Law will go over your case with you and determine your best course of action. Call our office today at 847-253-3400 to schedule a free consultation.


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