Sex crimes are some of the most horrific offenses to be charged with in Illinois. There are severe penalties for crimes that fall under this category, and even if you’re not convicted, your life can change if you’re accused. One is sexual assault.
Understanding sexual assault
The terms “rape” and “sexual assault” are often used interchangeably, but these are different crimes. Actually, Illinois statutes do not specifically refer to “rape”; they discuss criminal sexual assault and sexual penetration.
Sexual assault differs from what is generally thought of as rape in that it does not actually involve penetration. A person commits a crime when they force unwanted sexual contact onto someone else without that person’s consent. This might involve touching, stroking or fondling. Still, some states use the term “sexual assault” when referring to the act of rape.
Serious penalties for sex offenses
These types of crimes carry serious penalties. Sexual assault is classified as a felony. A person could face lengthy periods of incarceration in a state prison if a conviction is obtained.
Penalties are elevated for sexual assault when the victim suffers bodily harm, when they are age 60 or older or physically disabled, or if the crime took place in the course of committing another penalty. The use of a controlled substance to render the victim incapacitated also increases the penalties against a perpetrator.
Sexual assault charges are serious, even in a situation of false accusations. Anyone in that situation should take the charges seriously and take immediate action.