Sex Crime Law in Illinois

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The commission of a sex crime designates the person a “sex offender.”  Sex offenders can be 17-year-olds found guilty of having sex with a girlfriend under 16.  Such was the case with an Illinois registered sex offender whose conviction hung over his head until he was murdered at the age of 26. 

A sex offender can also include the more stereotypical cases of an older male who sexually assaults a child, a male who forcibly rapes an adult female, or a person sexually communicating via Internet with a minor.  An Illinois youth pastor got 9 years in prison for having sexual relations with 4 girls aged 15-17.

Sex crime charges are not to be taken lightly.  They arguably carry the greatest “stigma” in our society, and can ruin reputations and employment opportunities.  The fear of committing another sex crime can drive sex offenders to commit rash acts, as with an Illinois man who tried to castrate himself when he got “urges.” 

Illinois Sex Offender Registration

In Illinois, there are 18,995 registered sex offenders, who are required to provide local law enforcement with updated vehicle, employment, and school information, as well as fingerprints and DNA.  Many crimes require lifetime registry, but lesser crimes allow de-registration after a problem-free 10 years.  Failing to register in Illinois is a felony, and carries prison time, fines, and additional registration years. 

Expunction of Criminal Records

Illinois is liberal in allowing “expunged” records of sex crimes to be destroyed.  Illinois permits sex offenders to expunge records of less serious sex crimes 2 years after probation has successfully ended, and more serious crimes 5 years after probation.  However, sex crimes involving minors under 18 are not able to be expunged, and no sex crimes are merely “sealable.” 

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Last Modified: 08-23-2011 11:17 AM PDT

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