Sexual assault or sexual abuse allegations are among the most damaging of allegations. Some lawyers would argue that jurors are more inclined to assume guilt in sex cases than in any other type of prosecution. This is conceivably true because any reasonable person would agree that the conduct alleged is morally reprehensible. Unfortunately, however, it is not uncommon that these allegations arise out of the context of a deteriorating marriage, or made by a disgruntled former lover, or as a way of gaining an advantage in a child custody dispute, or as a cry for attention.
There are several different offenses that are considered sex crimes in Illinois including criminal sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual assault, criminal sexual abuse of a child, aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a child, indecent solicitation of a child, and public indecency. The penalties for a sex crime range from a Class A misdemeanor (less than one year in county jail), but usually if you are charged with public indecency for the first time to a Class X felony (6 to 30 years in the state penitentiary). The facts and circumstances of the case will dictate the penalty imposed. Aside from a potential lengthy term of imprisonment, a conviction for a sex crime triggers a lifetime registration requirement that affects where you can live, work and travel.
A false allegation of sexual assault or sexual abuse can haunt a person for the rest of their life. It is vital that you consult with a skilled criminal defense attorney who will thoroughly review all of the evidence, and devise an aggressive defense strategy to help fight these charges.