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If you’ve recently been accused of a sex offense, it would be wise to contact a Chicago criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Okabe & Haushalter is one of the premier defense firms in the state of Illinois and we even have a former Cook County state attorney on our team. Our firm has the experience to answer any and all of your questions about the criminal process after an arrest for a sex offense. Below, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most common questions about sex offenses and answered them. For answers to more questions, you can call our firm today and receive a confidential review of your case.
What is considered a “major” sex offense?
According to Subdivision 5 of ILCS 720, Article 11, criminal sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual assault, predatory criminal sexual assault of a child, criminal sexual abuse, aggravated criminal sexual abuse, indecent solicitation of a child, indecent solicitation of an adult and solicitation to meet a child are all “major” sex offenses as opposed to minor ones. Penalties are more serious for major offenses.
What is considered “solicitation to meet a child?”
This sex offenses is a major offense and is detailed in § 11-6.6 of the Illinois Penal Code. If you are 18 years old or older, and you use a computer, electronic device or other method to communicate with someone under the age of 18 for the purpose of luring them to meet at an agreed-upon location and this is done without the minor’s parents’ knowledge, then this is considered solicitation to meet a child. This can be a felony or a misdemeanor, depending on how many years apart the predator and the victim are. If more than five years, then it will charged as a class 4 felony.
What is the crime of obscenity?
In Illinois, it is illegal to perform in “obscene” ways as defined by § 11-20 of the Illinois Criminal Code. A person can actually commit obscenity. Another way to phrase this criminal offense is “pornography.” Selling, presenting, exhibiting, performing, creating or advertising obscenity/pornography is illegal. It is charged as a class A misdemeanor upon first offense and a class 4 felony for any subsequent offenses.
Are there any defenses against a charge of obscenity?
Yes. According to the Illinois Criminal Codes, the defendant could claim that the obscenity/pornography that they are being charged with was not for the purpose of monetary gain. Other affirmative defenses include making obscenity for a “personal associate” or that the material was for scientific purposes rather than pornographic.
Can I be charged with child pornography if I didn’t know the child was under 18?
Yes. If a judge or jury agrees that you should have known the victim’s actual age, then you can be charged with child pornography. Part of the child pornography statute reads “any child whom he or she knows or reasonably should know to be under the age of 18…”
Can I be held civilly liable in addition to criminally liable?
Yes. § 11-1.80 of the Illinois Criminal Codes states that those who have been convicted of a sex offense can have civil lawsuits brought against them by the victim or the victim’s family. If the civil case is successful, then you could be required to pay damages (money) to the plaintiff (victim).
What are the penalties for soliciting a prostitute?
The crime of soliciting a prostitute is a Class A misdemeanor. The possible penalties could be up to $2,500 in fines or up to one year in jail. Class A misdemeanors are the most serious misdemeanors.
In Illinois, what sex offenses require sex offender registration?
According to the Illinois State Police, “any felony or misdemeanor conviction or adjudication of any of the following statutes require registration” and then goes on to list 33 different criminal sex offenses. Some include permitting the sexual abuse of a child, child pornography, sexual misconduct with a mentally disabled person and even attempting to commit a felony sex offense.
Is a convicted sex offender allowed to visit places like schools and parks?
Without permission from the superintendent of a school, a registered sex offender may not come within 500 feet of school property. Some exceptions include sex offenders who are parents attempting to attend a conference, parent-teacher review or something similar. In January 2011, Illinois law was changed regarding sex offenders and public parks. It is now illegal and violation will warrant a Class A misdemeanor.