How Does The Law Define Statutory Rape In Illinois?
Statutory rape refers to a situation where there’s sexual contact or penetration between two consenting individuals, but it has been determined to be unlawful based on the age or mental disability of one of the participants. The age of consent in Illinois is 17.
Does The Age Difference Between The Parties Determine Whether Misdemeanor or Felony Statutory Rape Will Be Charged?
If there’s a difference of less than five years between the participants’ ages, it would be charged as a misdemeanor. If it’s more than five years, it would be charged as a felony. There are some other elements that could factor into whether the case was charged as a misdemeanor or felony, but those are two of the biggest differences
Would Someone Have To Register As A Sex Offender If They Are Convicted Of Statutory Rape?
A misdemeanor conviction would require a ten-year registration and a felony case would be a lifetime registration. However, there are some other circumstances where a misdemeanor could require a lifetime registration, as well.
Is Not Knowing The Age Of The Alleged Victim Ever A Viable Defense In A Statutory Rape Case?
There are a lot of defenses that are available in a statutory rape case where the contact was consensual but it is deemed to be illegal by age. Those defenses would have to do with, particularly when there’s electronic communication involved, whether one of the individuals claimed to be older. Did they tell the other individual that they were over 18? Sometimes, there is a fake ID involved or there is a reasonable belief that the person was of the age of consent. There are some very strong defenses available in some cases.
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