So We Can "Date" but We Can't Do "It" Is What You're Saying?
Neither the law nor I will say what you can do. The law, as set out in the next sections of this Guide, based on the respective age differences between the participants, only says what you cannot do. Not only can you not do "it," but there are a number of other acts that are considered sexual, even if you don't think so, and are, therefore, illegal, if one or both of you are under the age of 17. See and read carefully the definitions of "sexual conduct" and "sexual penetration" via the attached link. First, note that touching/fondling by either one of you is illegal conduct. Even if you are the alleged victim and are the one doing the touching/fondling your partner can be arrested. Second, skin-on-skin contact is not required because touching/fondling over the clothing is also illegal. Third, great emphasis is placed on the "however slight" language in the definition of "sexual penetration." It doesn't matter if, or how far it went in, or if the touch was only really quick.
I'm at Least 13 Years Old but Not Yet 17 Years Old & My Partner Is Less than 5 Years Older than Me
If P engages in "sexual conduct" or "sexual penetration" with P?, who P knows is under 17, and P is less than 5 years older than P?, then P commits the offense of Criminal Sexual Abuse. This is a Class A misdemeanor and carries up to 364 days in jail. State law requires the guilty to register as a sex offender (in the towns where s/he lives, works, and goes to secondary school) for minimum 10 years and, if P was at least 18 at the time of the sexual conduct or penetration, have his/her name and photo on the internet. Offenders 17 and under are prosecuted in juvenile court and will not be on the internet, and although they must also register as sex offenders, they can petition to get off the registry in as few as 2 years after being on it. If both partners are younger than 17, technically both are committing Criminal Sexual Abuse, although usually only one or none of them gets prosecuted.
I'm at Least 13 Years Old but Not Yet 17 Years Old & My Partner Is More than 5 Years Older than Me
If P engages in "sexual conduct" or "sexual penetration" with P?, who P knows is under 17, and P is at least 5 years older than P?, P has committed the offense of Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse. This is a Class 2 felony that carries possible sentences of up to 4 years of probation to include, among other conditions like costly sex offender treatment, 6 months in jail or 18-30 months in work release/periodic imprisonment, or 7 years in prison, and a fine of up to $25,000.00. A person guilty of Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse must register as an adult sex offender as outlined above in Section 2 for the remainder of his/her natural life.
I'm Not Even 13 Years Old & My Partner Hasn't Turned 17 Yet
Sexual conduct or sexual penetration results in P committing Criminal Sexual Abuse. P would be charged in juvenile court for this Class A misdemeanor and face up to 5 years of probation and 30 days in a county juvenile detention center, or up to 364 days in a state youth center in the Department. of Juvenile Justice. P might have to have a sex offender evaluation to determine if counseling is needed and complete any recommended treatment. P will also have to register for 10 years as a sex offender in the community where P lives and works, but will not appear on the internet and can petition after 2 years to be removed from having to register.
I'm at Least 9 but Not Even 13 & My Partner Is at Least 17 Years Old
"Sexual conduct" is Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse. (See Section 2 above for penalties.) But if "sexual penetration" occurs, P commits Predatory Criminal Sexual Assault of a Child. This is a Class X felony which, aside from lifetime registration as a sex offender, carries no possibility for probation and prison terms ranging between 6 and 30 years (of which 85% must be served).
What If I Don't Want to Press Charges? Our Parents Know and Are Ok with This.
Nothing stays secret, especially with today's technology. Somebody will find out. If it gets reported to the police, they will investigate. Remember, it is not a defense, and won't help anybody, by saying that you weren't forced and consented to the act(s) because by law you are too young to give consent. Armed with statements the prosecution now has a case, will want to meet with you, and will serve you with a subpoena ordering you to appear and give testimony against your partner. Can you plead the fifth [amendment]? If your partner is under 17 then yes because you too would have committed CSAb. However, in such a case the prosecutor will likely offer you immunity (a promise not to prosecute you) and the judge will order you to testify. Oddly, parents can give consent for their children to marry as young as age 16 but nothing in the Illinois Criminal Code creates a defense that the parents knew of and approved of the relationship involving sexual conduct or penetration.
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