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Archive for the ‘sexual assault’ tag

Criminal Sexual Assault and Aggravated Criminal Sexual Assault

May 6th, 2015 at 7:01 am

Illinois defense attorney, Illinois criminal lawyer, rape,Sex offenses are some of the most difficult types of crimes to defend. While juries and the public are willing to consider most criminal defendants to be innocent until proven guilty, and while they are supposed to do this in sex cases, often they are unable to do so. This is particularly true when the alleged victim of the offense is a child, as most people do not understand the reality that children can be easily led to make false or inaccurate allegations. That is why it is so important that when you are facing charges for a sex offense that you obtain the help of a criminal defense attorney who is experienced with defending this type of offense. There are many different types of sex offenses one can be charged with in Illinois, so it is important for you to understand exactly what it is you are being accused of having done.

Criminal Sexual Assault

Criminal sexual assault is a felony sex offense in Illinois. A person commits this offense if he or she commits an act of sexual penetration and one of the following four statements is true:

  • He or she used force or the threat of force;
  • He or she knew that the alleged victim was unable to understand the nature of the sexual act or was unable to give knowing consent;
  • He or she is a family member of the alleged victim and the alleged victim is under the age of 18; or
  • He or she is 17 years old or older, the alleged victim is between the ages of 13 and 18, and the accused holds some sort of position of power or authority over the alleged victim.

 Aggravated Criminal Sexual Assault

Aggravated criminal sexual assault is another more serious felony sex offense in Illinois. This crime requires that the accused commit criminal sexual assault and that one of a list of aggravating factors is present. This aggravating factors include:

  1. That the accused displayed, used, or threatened to use a dangerous weapon other than a firearm, or that the accused displayed, used, or threatened to use some other object that would lead the alleged victim to reasonably believe that it was a dangerous weapon;
  2. That the accused caused great bodily harm to the alleged victim.
  3. That the accused acted in some way that threatened or endangered either the life of the alleged victim or the life of some other person;
  4. That the accused committed the assault while committing or trying to commit some other felony;
  5. That the alleged victim of the sexual assault is age 60 or older;
  6. That the alleged victim of the sexual assault is a physically disabled person;
  7. That the accused drugged the alleged victim without the alleged victim’s consent or by threat or deception;
  8. That the accused was armed with a firearm;
  9. That the accused personally fired a firearm during the commission of the assault; or
  10. That the accused personally fired a firearm during the assault and that the firing of the firearm caused great bodily harm, permanent disability, permanent disfigurement, or death.

There are two other ways to commit aggravated sexual assault. The first happens where the accused is under 17 years old and he or she commits an act of sexual penetration with a person under nine years old or uses force or the threat of force to engage in an act of sexual penetration with a child between the ages of nine and 13. The other type of aggravated sexual assault happens where a person commits an act of sexual penetration with an alleged victim who is severely or profoundly intellectually disabled.

Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley

If you or someone you love has been charged with a sex offense, you need the assistance of an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney. Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley today at (847)394-3200 for a consultation on your case.

Date Rape is Still Rape

November 29th, 2013 at 4:00 pm

Many people believe that date rape is not as serious as other kinds of rape.  However, the only reason for the differentiation between the two terms is to specify the status of the involved parties.  For example, the term “rape” generally happens between two strangers, while “date rape” or “acquaintance rape” happens between two people who previously knew each other on some level.  Date rape can happen on a date, between two friends, between two people in a relationship, or between members of a former couple.  Furthermore, because date rape regularly occurs after a date or a party, the term often indicates that alcohol or drugs played a role in the conduct.

Date Rape is Still RapeSome offenders believe that accusations of date rape are not as serious as other types of rape charges, and that they will face less severe consequences if they force sex with someone they already know.  This belief is mistaken, as Illinois law does not differentiate between types of rape.  Prosecutors charge any rape act, regardless of the status of the parties, under 720 ILCS 5/11-1.20 for criminal sexual assault or 720 ILCS 5/11-1.30 for aggravated criminal sexual assault.

What constitutes criminal sexual assault?

The charge of criminal sexual assault is a Class 1 Felony and applies to anyone who allegedly commits an act of sexual penetration by using force or the threat of force.  The charge also applies to sex when the accused knew the victim would be unable to give knowing consent or is unable to understand the nature of the sexual act.  Therefore, this statute applies directly to many date rape situations in which the accuser claims to have been under the influence of alcohol or drugs and therefore was unable to protest.

A charge may be escalated to aggravated criminal sexual assault, a Class X Felony, under certain circumstances such as the accused used any time of weapon or caused any bodily harm to the victim.  It is not uncommon for some harm to occur in forceful date rape situations, so this charge is not reserved for stranger rape.

If convicted of criminal sexual assault, you may face mandatory prison time of four to fifteen years or six to thirty years for an aggravated charge.  Additionally, you will have to register with the Illinois Sex Offender Database, where information such as your name, address, and criminal conduct will be publicly available.  Therefore, date rape can result in very severe penalties that may affect your freedom, future employability, and life in general.

What should I do if I have been accused of date rape?

If you have been arrested or charged with any type of sexual assault, it is highly important that you contact an experienced Illinois criminal attorney as soon as possible.  Do not hesitate to contact the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley today.

Mount Prospect Man Sentenced for Sexual Assault

February 14th, 2013 at 4:27 pm

Herbert Burgess, 58, was convicted in early February in a Cook County Circuit Court of a Class X felony and sentenced to 24 years in prison. Burgess was accused of sexually assaulting a youth who worked for him, “the son of friends he had known for years,” according to the Chicago Tribune. Burgess was a former executive for a Buffalo Grove printing firm, and the assault of the young man occurred in Burgess’ residence on Lexington Drive. The 24-year sentence will be served concurrently, according to the Tribune, and includes 15 years for criminal sexual assault and three years for unlawful restraint. One of the key witnesses in the trial was a male who claimed on the stand that Burgess had molested him in 1978 after having been plied with alcoholic beverages. Mount Prospect Man Sentenced for Sexual Assault IMAGE

According to the United States Bureau of Justice, sexual assault can be described for “a wide range of victimizations, separate from rape or attempted rape.” They usually involve attacks or attempted attacks, and usually involve unwanted sexual contact. Sexual assault can also refer to verbal threats. According to a Canadian Justice Department publication, a perpetrator of sexual abuse will “most likely be a friend or family member.” The specifics of the sexual assault in the Burgess case were not revealed to the media, though it was clear that he was an old acquaintance of his victim.

The Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault (ICASA) is a group that works with and for survivors of sexual victimization in the state. According to the ICASA, in 2012, the organization served 18,092 adult, adolescent, and child survivors of sexual assault, child sexual abuse, and sexual harassment. The number was significantly lower than the 2011 figure of 18,896.

If you or someone you know has been accused of a sexual assault crime, don’t go through it alone. Contact a dedicated Chicago-area criminal defense attorney today.

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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