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What Is The Definition Of Statutory Rape Under Illinois Law?


Under Illinois law, statutory rape is referred to as criminal sex abuse, which is a misdemeanor. It is defined as an adult who has sex with someone between the ages of 16 and 17 years old. An adult is allowed to have sex with someone who is 17 but not with someone who is 16, which is kind of screwed up. With parent permission, two 16-year olds can get married. So, this law makes it so that two people who have consented to get married cannot consent to make it a complete marriage.

In order to fully define criminal sex abuse, the term “sex” needs to be defined. Sex is not strictly defined as full-on intercourse; it can be any type of sexual penetration, however slight. It doesn’t matter if you’re 16 and you’re married. So, these are things to keep in mind. Statutory rape charges are not very common because they only apply to victims who are 16 years old. If the victim is between the ages of 13 and 16, then the adult perpetrator would be charged with a felony.

Are there Romeo & Juliet Laws In Illinois And Wisconsin?

There are no Romeo & Juliet laws in Illinois. To break it down simply, having sex with a 17 year-old person would be legal, having sex with a 16-year old person would be considered criminal sex abuse (which is a misdemeanor), and having sex with a 15-year old would result in a felony charge.

What Are The Penalties For A Statutory Rape Conviction In Illinois?

In Illinois, a charge of criminal sex abuse is a misdemeanor charge that carries a sentence of up to a year in jail and a $2,500 fine. It also requires the perpetrator to register as a sex offender, which can affect people for the rest of their lives. There are so many high school kids who have girlfriends or boyfriends before the age of 16 (myself included). Parents really need to educate their kids about this because it is a trap that kids can unknowingly fall into.

Does Not Knowing The Age Of The Victim Count As A Defense In A Statutory Rape Case?

One defense to a felony charge would be that the underage person in question could have reasonably been viewed as being 16 years old. Now, that doesn’t mean that a person could just say, “The girl was wearing high heels so I thought she was old.” That would not work. I once handled a case in which my client decided to meet up with a girl who was claiming to be 17 years old on Facebook. It turned out that she was only 15 years old. So, if a person is claiming that they are older than they actually are and it would be reasonable to believe them, then that’s fine. On the other hand, it would not be reasonable to believe an eight-year old who was claiming to be 17 years old.

What Other Defenses Are Used In These Cases?

There really aren’t any other defenses used in these cases. These cases are pretty black-and-white; there was either sexual penetration or there was not, and there was either an age difference or there was not.

In rape cases, consent can be a defense. Cases that involve a person who was drugged or intoxicated can get a little bit complicated. For example, I handled a case that involved two best friends who had gotten drunk together, started fooling around and then had sex. However, since the female had been intoxicated, she was not aware of what was going on. When she realized what was happening, she told her male friend to stop, which he did. The male friend (and my client) was charged with rape. When the female party was on the stand, I asked her if she remembered what happened in the 20 minutes that preceded the event and she said she did not. I then said, “You have no idea if you consented or not because you don’t remember what happened,” and she said “That’s true.” As a result, my client was found not guilty. So, there can be some really tough situations that people get into. It was a really horrible situation, and thank God we had a happy result because it could have been an absolute nightmare for my client.

For more information on Statutory Rape Offenses In Illinois, a free initial consultation is your best next step. Get the information and legal answers you’re seeking by calling (847) 244-4636 today.

Barry Boches, Esq.

Get your questions answered - call me for your free phone consultation (847) 244-4636.

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