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What Are the Penalties for Online Solicitation of a Minor in Illinois?

Posted on in Sex Crimes

Wheaton Sex Crime LawyerSexual offenses involving children are taken very seriously in Illinois and elsewhere. In some cases, a person could face criminal charges even if they have no face-to-face contact with their alleged victim. This may be the case if a person is charged with online solicitation of a minor. Communicating with a child in an online chat room, sending emails or text messages, requesting sexually explicit photos, or other similar actions could result in an arrest and a criminal charge, and a person could be looking at multiple years in prison, heavy fines, and other consequences if they are convicted. Understanding the exact definition of this charge and the potential penalties is important for anyone who could be accused of this offense.

Indecent Solicitation and Online Solicitation of a Minor

In Illinois, the criminal charge of "indecent solicitation of a child" applies to any situation where an adult over the age of 17 attempts to contact a child under the age of 17 and encourages them to engage in sexual conduct. A "solicitation" may include requests made of a child, authorization to engage in certain behavior, commands given to a child, or advice that a child take certain actions. A solicitation may be considered indecent if a person would be encouraging the child to engage in an act of sexual penetration or other sexual conduct, and this act would be considered sexual assault or criminal sexual abuse.

While indecent solicitation of a child may include any situation that meets the definitions described above, the offense of "solicitation to meet a child" specifically applies to situations where a person is accused of using an electronic device such as a computer or smartphone to communicate with a child and attempt to meet with them in person without the knowledge of the child's parent or guardian. The law states that this offense will apply in any situation where the alleged offender intends to meet with a child for a reason other than a lawful purpose. If a person is communicating with a child in secret and encouraging them to meet an adult without their parent's knowledge, they will likely be considered to have an intent to commit a sexual offense.

Solicitation to meet a child is a Class 4 felony, and a person who is convicted may face a prison sentence of between one and three years. Indecent solicitation of a child in which a person discusses sexual acts with a child online with the intent of committing aggravated criminal sexual assault, predatory criminal sexual assault, or aggravated criminal sexual abuse is also a Class 4 felony. More serious felony charges may apply in certain situations depending on the severity of the sexual offense that would apply if the person engaged in sexual intercourse or other forms of sexual contact with the minor. In addition to a prison sentence, those who are convicted of felonies may be required to pay a fine of up to $25,000, and they will likely have to register as a sexual offender. 

Contact Our DuPage County Online Sex Crimes Defense Lawyer

The online solicitation of a minor is a serious offense that can have devastating consequences. If you have been charged with this crime, it is important to contact an experienced Wheaton sex crimes defense attorney immediately. At Stephen A. Brundage, we can protect your rights during your case and help you determine your best options for defense. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 630-260-9647.



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